Saturday is Bloomsday! It strikes me that we might put our DH nerdiness to more direct Joycean use than simply deciding which Ulysses t-shirts to wear. I propose using this post space to discuss possible small-scale, collaborative Joyce-celebratory projects we might undertake during free time throughout the weekend (not a session necessarily, but a backchannel collaboration). These could be performative (e.g. recording readings of favorite passages? maybe a choral reading? making a small game?) or investigative…
One possibility: I’ve been playing around with the free visualization tool Gephi recently; we might create a simple dataset representing one-to-one character interactions in Ulysses or part of Ulysses–who interacts with whom? How many degrees of separation does the most removed character have from Bloom?–and drop it into Gephi to create a pretty and useful visualization. This would require
1) People signing up to list all the character interactions for a given section in Ulysses (if we only have a few people, we could just divvy up pages in a single rich episode like Circe or Wandering Rocks). For ease of collaboration, it probably makes sense to use the Project Gutenberg e-text (unless the rumored new digital edition drops in time for us to use!).
2) Defining what an “interaction” in Ulysses entails (dialogue? glimpsing someone? thinking about someone?). Or are there other factors we might want to model with a visualization?
3) Creating a basic spreadsheet with two columns: whenever an interaction happens, create a row with Person A on column 1 and Person B in column 2. Unless we decide on doing a one-way directed sort of interaction–e.g. Bloom thinks about Molly doesn’t mean Molly thinks about Bloom at the same time–it doesn’t matter which person in a pair of interacting characters goes in which column. We might also consider adding a “weight” column that keys different weight numbers to “degree of interaction” (e.g. degree of 1 indicates thinking about someone, 2 indicates glimpsing but not being seen, 3 indicates dialogue). I can post a link to a Google Spreadsheet with example rows if people are interested; you might also check out the Gephi sample datasets looking at character interactions in Les Miserables and the Marvel comic universe.
Interested? Or have any other Joycean ideas?