Tuesday, June 15, 2010

There's An App For That

With Bloomsday scheduled for tomorrow in Dublin, fans of James Joyce's epic Ulysses might like to carry around something Joycean, yet not be encumbered by a weighty tome.

There's an app for that.

Just in time for Bloomsday, Throwaway Horse has gotten Apple to approve a new application that brings the comic book version of Ulysses to the tiny screen.

Comics being graphic in nature, and the novel having once been banned as obscene, you would be correct to assume that the combination of the two resulted in some naughty bits that created a controversy.

Didn't the novel create more than enough controversy when it was first published, not in Dublin, but in free-thinking Paris?

The iPad app included nude images of a woman exposing her breasts. Apple didn't want its users to be sitting on the commuter train, reading away, only to flick the page and scandalize all those who would be reading over the iPad user's shoulder. You never know who might be sitting behind you, wishing you'd read faster and get moving with the page turning.

The publisher offered to pixilate the image or paint a fig leaf over the knockers, but Apple wasn't having it.

Until last night, when someone figured out it was all rather silly to ban an iPad app of a classic piece of literature because of some cartoon mammary glands. Apple has given the go-ahead on the app, complete with nudity.

The app will be sold as suitable for 17 and over, and if you have an iPod, you can download the comic through the iTunes store.

According to Mark Traynor of the James Joyce Centre, bringing the muddled work of experimental wordplay to picture form will make the novel more accessible (i.e. bring some sense to it) and he's all in favor.

No iPad yet? The comic book is available at ulyssesseen.com. The artwork is exquisite.

Happy Bloomsday. I'll pass on the breakfast of fried kidneys, thanks just the same.

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