This is Not Not A Game: Ulysses and Hypertext Fiction

Patrick Prominski

[1] The early twentieth century played host to a range of experimental art forms. Across Europe, artists were dabbling outside of their chosen vocations. Painters were writing; poets were painting; both were dabbling with music. On May 18, 1917, a group of artists staged the first modern ballet Parade. Parade deviated from all of the traditional methods of form and production. The ballet, created by artistic collaborators Sergei Diaghilev, Jean Cocteau and Erik Satie, featured costumes and set design by Pablo Picasso. Combined with program notes written by poet Guillaume Apollinaire, the ballet attempted to blend the ordinary with the innovative. Nancy Hargrove calls it an attempt "to create a work based on ordinary, contemporary life ... to incorporate new technological inventions ... to create something entirely innovative and modern" (83). While Parade met with mixed reviews, it signaled the arrival of a new technique—mixing technology and art into new relationships for the benefit of creativity. Nearly six decades later, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari published Mille Plateaux in which they detailed the idea of the rhizome as a metaphor for the development of ideas. The rhizome eschewed the more traditional thought that knowledge proceeds from an arboreal or linear structure. It is exactly this rhizomic structure that exists within Ulysses as well as many forms of new media. Analyzing them together creates a symbiotic structure for understanding both art forms.

[2] This essay's title is drawn from "Reagan Library," a piece of electronic literature by Stuart Moulthrop. In his work, the narrator asserts, "This is not a game... This is not not a game." That sentiment of confusion is one James Joyce would have appreciated had he lived in the twenty-first century. Joyce was often accused of intentionally playing games with the reader. From the much debated identity of the narrator (if there is a consistent one) in Ulysses, to his own confession that enigma is one of his goals, Joyce is either one of the greatest novelists of the twentieth century, or its most successful literary flimflam man. In this respect, Joyce shares in some of the same criticism that plagues modern electronic literature authors who are both embraced and derided by "traditionalists."

[3] As Louis Armand outlines in Technē, Joyce's work inherently contains many of the aspects of electronic literature, specifically hypertext fiction. While Armand focuses his efforts on Finnegan's Wake, Ulysses also embodies many attributes evident within electronic literature. Within Ulysses, the episode "Aeolus" is particularly notable for its similarities to electronic literature. While hypertext as it is used today was not available to Joyce, he used his knowledge of modern film and his vast repository of rhetorical ability to place characters within a new and ever-changing world. His encyclopedic references create a rich intertextual work. Establishing Joyce's relationship to modern hypertext allows a non-linear reading with "Aeolus" as the central focal point. However, the transfer of traits does not flow one way. Taking the insights gained from Joyce back to the analysis of electronic literature, a more thorough literacy of new media is established.

[4] According to the OED, the term "hypertext," first coined in 1965, is attributed to Ted Nelson. He described hypertext as "a body of written or pictorial material interconnected in such a complex way that it could not conveniently be presented or represented on paper" ("Hypertext," Oxford English Dictionary). While Joyce had only paper reproduction as an option, the end result in Ulysses is not so much different from that preliminary definition of hypertext. Joycean hypertext is an attempt to meld the word with all of its possible applications, contextual and intertextual. Joyce accomplished this through his schema, formatting, and obsessive, copious notes. Joyce's prose creates a three-dimensional topography of Ireland. It is at once an attempt to defeat paper and use the medium to express multiple ideas at one time. Like Deleuze's rhizome, these ideas float freely within the stratum that surrounds the physical text of the novel, attaching themselves through reader association. Each connection, in turn, establishes a new starting point for further exploration.

[5] Prior to any discussion of Ulysses as a protozoic form of hypertext literature, it is helpful to establish a definition of electronic literature. In the essay, "Electronic Literature: What is It?" on the Electronic Literature Organization, N. Katherine Hayles specifies that electronic literature should be "born digital"—that is, any literature that is simply copied from an already printed text, does not qualify as electronic literature. However, Hayles also recognizes that the changing nature of technology and the ways that it may or may not be used in the creation of a work is problematic when attempting to definitively categorize the genre. By applying the notion that outdated technology does not necessarily disqualify a work from being electronic literature, it is easier to recognize Ulysses as an early relative of the genre.

[6] One of the earliest forms of electronic literature is hypertext fiction. Hypertext literature of the mid-1980's to early 1990's focused on the text itself and the kinds of non-linear reading that could be achieved by following various links to other parts of the narrative. As methods of online expression evolved, hypertext literature eventually morphed into the wider electronic literature movement. Electronic literature still takes advantage of text, but often incorporates music, photos and video to convey the narrative. Looking at a piece of electronic literature, such as "Reagan Library" or Robert Kendall's "Faith," certain commonalities with Joyce emerge. "Faith" uses moving text, which rapidly rearranges itself to relay the story. As the letters and words reorient themselves, the reader begins to fill in missing sections before they are revealed. This process is similar to the reader's response to what is left unsaid by Joyce's characters in Ulysses. The difference is, while "Faith" eventually reveals what becomes of a phrase like "I / edge / logic / out," we never know what Leopold Bloom is thinking on the beach when he writes "I am a" (381). Joyce leaves it up to the reader to complete Bloom's self reflection.

[7] "Reagan Library" is more directly interactive with the choices made by the reader determining the flow of the story. Both electronic pieces use music, pictures, and text to tell a "story." Applying these characteristics to Ulysses, it is possible to see his novel as a precursor to modern electronic literature. Joyce includes many forms of text in his novel. He uses numerous references to music, even printing music score in multiple locations. His words strive to paint a picture of a single day in Dublin in 1904. Joyce is intent on making the reader fill in as much as she is able to, to contribute to the story. Each reference to history, poetry, music, and art will mean something different to each reader. Each reference, therefore, adds something new depending upon the individual reader. The reader's added content resides within the commonality of the larger plot that Joyce has laid out.

Death of the Narrator

[8] Deleuze, in his introduction to multiplicity as a key element of rhizomatic thought, specifies that "Puppet strings, as a rhizome or multiplicity, are tied not to the supposed will of an artist or puppeteer but to a multiplicity of nerve fibers..." (8). Joyce accomplishes cutting the puppeteers strings in two ways: first, he obscures the narrator to the point where recognition of the author or a specific character is impossible. Second, Ulysses focuses both on Bloom and Stephen Dedalus, who initially do not appear to have anything in common save a home city. It is only through their wanderings that their paths intersect in random and, eventually, meaningful ways.

[9] Joyce's example of narratorial void is a lesson that electronic literature is well positioned to embrace. "Faith," like Ulysses, uses no set narrator. The constant references to "I" are taken by the reader to mean herself, not some autobiographical entity controlling the flow of the narrative. Without a narrator, Kendall has cut his narrative free and is ready to achieve multiplicity.

[10] Moulthrop frees his narrative with a narrator who is so disjointed and unreliable that the reader needs to determine which link to follow without narratorial guidance. This reading often leads in a circle that is both frustrating and challenging at the same time. The reader does not know whether the advice that "You'll know when you're done" means that there is a definite end or frustration will determine the termination point.

Source Code

[11] While Kendall and Moulthrop use computer code to construct and reproduce their work, Joyce used his schema and detailed lists. Hayles notes that one of the defining aspects of electronic literature is the source code the author uses:

Critics and scholars of digital art and literature should therefore properly consider the source code to be part of the work, a position underscored by authors who embed in the code information or interpretive comments crucial to understanding the work.

Joyce's notebooks, while not crucial for understanding Ulysses on a basic level, are indispensible when attempting to understand all of the intertextual references he was weaving into the work. His notebooks provided the "source code" for what would later become Ulysses. Michael Groden analyzed Joyce's notes for Ulysses in Progress. Groden was one of the first critics not only to look at the notes, but also the way in which Joyce mined his notations. Groden discovered a detailed way in which Joyce indicated, using colored pencil, which references he had already used. Examining Joyce's notes for the "Cyclops" episode, Groden writes:

Joyce crossed out notes in red each time he revised or augmented the early drafts ... He deleted notes in blue for four different purposes: post-Little Review additions to "Cyclops," late additions to earlier episodes, transfer of notes to the "Eumaeus" sheets, and use in the last four episodes. (142)

Joyce's notebooks provide the reader with a unique insight into the way that Joyce constructed his work. The color code indicates a highly detail-oriented, deliberate process. It is as if Joyce were working backward from the book's index to create a novel. Indeed, these notes are the basic source code for Ulysses.

[12] However helpful referencing Joyce's notes may be, Groden does not believe that Joyce ever really intended to make the notes public. Groden comments that Joyce never said why he kept so many of his notebooks and early drafts, though he often gave them away as gifts or sold them when he needed money. "I think he saved them partly because ... he was compulsive, and also because he thought that anything he wrote was important" (RE: Genetic and Hypertext Joyce 1).

[13] While Joyce could never have envisioned the extent to which his surviving composition notes and personal letters would be studied, it is clear that he did intend to make some of this source code public. Through conversations with Carlo Linati and Stuart Gilbert, he released his schema to be published. By revealing his references for the novel, his work effectively becomes open source. It invites reader interaction, scrutiny and further interpretation. Joyce says as much in the quote Don Gifford publishes at the beginning of his Ulysses Annotated, "I've put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that's the only way of insuring one's immortality" (v). It is this acknowledgement of deliberate, multiple sub-texts that argues most strongly for understanding Ulysses in terms of its hypertextuality.

[14] Subtext and obscured meaning were not the only issues confronting Joyce's creativity during the years he created Ulysses. Joyce was coming to grips with the role of the novel in the early twentieth century. All around him, technological and scientific discoveries were being made, ranging from the motion picture and radio to Einstein's Theory of Relativity. In the art world, the modernist film technique of collage and the work of artists like Henri Matisse and Man Ray were gaining wide recognition. All of these changes must have made the novel's traditional, musty narrative style seem outdated and quaint. It is almost as though Joyce is warming his readers up with Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and the first six episodes of Ulysses. By the time we reach "Aeolus," Joyce is ready for something more—it is a critical departure point in his art. "Aeolus" lays the groundwork for what will transpire artistically in the later episodes. It is "Aeolus" that is the rhizome of Joyce's work. It is within this episode that real and fictional events converge and redistribute.


[15] Though similarities to electronic literature can be found in many episodes within Ulysses, Joyce's use of various "technologies" in "Aeolus" provide a convenient format for discussion. The episode is broken into sixty-three brief sections. Each section contains a heading that generally approximates the style of newspaper headlines. In "Aeolus," the newspaper office becomes the information platform at the center of the "Hibernian Metropolis." Joyce provides evidence for his awareness of technology in his schema. Though he lists "mechanics" as the art form in the "Wandering Rocks" episode, machines and technology share the stage with rhetoric at the forefront of "Aeolus."

[16] The dominant symbols Joyce lists in his scheme for "Aeolus" are "Floating island, weathercock" (Ellmann 118). The center of Dublin is depicted as an island adrift in the rest of Ireland. It is a place unto itself. Joyce's first description of the location is in the form of the headline: "IN THE HEART OF THE HIBERNIAN METROPOLIS" (116). This sets the location apart as being someplace other than mundane Dublin. Keeping with Joyce's body organ references, this episode takes place at the "heart." This is where everything flowing through the city issues from and eventually passes through.

[17] The newspaper office is located near the switching station for the city's trolley system. Passengers and goods travel in and out of this central point. Even the mail travels through this hub several times daily. The city's news originates from this point and is spread outward via newsboy and tram through the city's network. This is Joyce capturing the inner, mechanical movement of the city. Bloom arrives to get an advertisement placed for Keyes in the Telegraph. As he enters the office, he is accosted by the sounds of the "great daily organ" (118) at work. The printing press is busily thumping away inside, while porters move heavy barrels of Guinness into transports outside. This hub is the origin of both the lubrication for the brain and the lubrication for the throat—two motifs which are center stage in this episode.

[18] After getting his clipping, Bloom goes to see Nannetti about placement. Nannetti sits at a desk amongst the overwhelming thumping of the printing press. He is oblivious to the sound of the machines: "He doesn't hear it. Nannan. Iron nerves" (120). Prolonged exposure has acclimated Nannetti to the sound. He has turned into the modern day Internet junkie; he is sitting in the center of information flowing all around him at an alarming rate, yet he sees (and hears) only what he is looking for and ignores the rest. Bloom fantasizes about what would happen if someone were to get dragged into the printing press: "Machines. Smash a man to atoms if they got him caught. Rule the world today" (118). Bloom recognizes that the machines are taking over. Not only that, they have the power to destroy their creators and simply keep on churning. The machine's actions are almost sentient to Bloom:

Sllt. The nethermost deck of the first machine jogged forwards its flyboard with sllt the first batch of quirefolded papers. Sllt. Almost human the way it sllt to call attention. Doing its level best to speak. The door too sllt creaking, asking to be shut. Everything speaks in its own way. Sllt. (121)

Everything around him is finding a voice in this new, technological age. It seems that only humans have difficulty speaking and being heard. Finally, Nannetti, sitting among the machines illustrates the migration of human to machine detailed in Manuel De Landa's "Meshworks, Hierarchies and Interfaces." De Landa sees modern society increasingly turning over traditionally human actions to machines. To De Landa, it is "part of a larger migration of control from the human body, to the hardware of the machine, then to the software, then to the data and finally to the world outside the machine."

[19] The rise of the machine is taking its toll on the Irish tradition of oration and storytelling. While the newspapers of Joyce's time were not yet covering news in real time, the information flow in relation to reported events was closer than it had ever been. It was this type of communication that was wiping out public oratory.

[20] Joyce demonstrates oratory's struggle through an informal speechmaking competition within the newspaper office. Ned Lambert, J.J. O'Molloy and Stephen all recite a speech that demonstrates a different position in the storytelling tradition. Lambert and O'Molloy rely on traditional sources, while Stephen's narrative is more spontaneous, modern, and not attributable to another poet or author. The others are repeating speeches made by legends of Irish oratory, but Stephen's tale more closely resembles an urban myth. It reveals his place in time and his position among the men in the newspaper office as the next generation of storyteller. Stephen's story of the two virgins who climb Nelson's Pillar to spit plum stones over the railing is titled "A Pisgah Sight of Palestine or the Parable of the Plums" (149). The title wraps up the oratory and brings the group full circle. The first part of the title "A Pisgah Sight of Palestine" is the view that Moses was given of the Promised Land. The second part calls the story a parable. Jesus relied heavily on parables to teach his followers in the New Testament. These two titles link the old and the new. Carrying the analogy further, the drunken virgins are spitting plum stones, a symbol of fertility, onto Ireland (Palestine). The result is that future fruit will grow in Ireland from the actions of the two drunken women. It is through this parable that Stephen is straddling the history of oration and the here and now of modern literature. He keeps the group interested in his story, which starts traditionally enough, "Two Dublin vestals, Stephen said, elderly and pious, have lived fifty and fiftythree years in Fumbally's lane" (145), but he concludes with a sort of non-ending of the women spitting plum stones over the rail. No one even realizes Stephen has finished the story until he laughs. Even then, the group begs him for a title. He is also performing a bit of tabloid journalism by not revealing that it is a fiction until after the story is finished.

Electronic Lit and Oratory

[21] Although the rhetorical forms in themselves have little do with electronic literature, discourse and its manifestations are constantly being examined. Early electronic literature was heavily text-based and offered few opportunities for reader input. Current forms rely more heavily on the idea of reader as creator. These ideas are similar to what Joyce was exploring in Dublin's dying oral tradition. Formal verse and speechmaking was being replaced with more informal "parables." Just as electronic literature has come to welcome reader input, Stephen's rough story was as much about bringing his listeners into the story. The other storytellers in "Aeolus" simply recall or recite another's words. Stephen attempts to transcend merely retelling and bring his listeners into the parable. Though his story fails to entertain, it is successful in the goal of drawing the audience into the experience.

Cinematic Influence

[22] Joyce saw the very newspaper as a new information platform. In Vachel Lindasy's 1915 book, The Art of the Moving Picture, a book Joyce almost certainly would have been familiar with, Lindsay compares the newspaper to film:

In a comedy of the history of a newspaper, the very columns of the publication are actors, and may be photographed oftener than the human hero. And in the higher realms this same tendency gives particular power to the panorama and trappings. It makes the natural and artificial magnificence more than a narrative, more than a color-scheme, something other than a drama. In a photoplay by a master, when the American flag is shown, the thirteen stripes are columns of history and the stars are headlines. The woods and the templed hills are their printing press, almost in a literal sense. (53)

It is this complex sense of the newspaper as information platform, new cinematic art form, and corruptor combined with actual cinema technique that Joyce was trying to capture in "Aeolus."

[23] As outlined earlier, Ulysses does not conform to the strict definition of electronic literature laid out by Hayles because it is not "digital born"—at least, not in the sense that we are accustomed to. Joyce may not have had the advantages of JavaScript or web design, but he did have access to his own form of modern technology: the cinema. He brought the first movie house, the Volta, to Dublin in 1909. He only managed the Volta for a short time, but film's influence on Ulysses should not be discounted. Joyce never explicitly stated which specific movies he chose to show or why, but by looking at the wide range of films, it seems likely that Joyce played a key role in bringing specific films to Dublin. In the article "Joyce and Early Cinema," Keith Williams notes that Joyce's inclusion of trick films demonstrates his awareness of film's ability to depict "the actual and impossible simultaneously and with apparently equal verisimilitude" (1). Joyce would also have seen all of the films personally in Trieste. He was familiar with the techniques of modernist filmmakers. From Italian period costume pieces and panning camera shots, to trick films, it seems he included a bit of all of these in his own work.

[24] Joyce liked what he saw on the screen and tried to incorporate some of those techniques into his literature. He uses the text as a character in multiple places in Ulysses. While the literal text is conveying the idea or the action, Joyce has it doing double duty as a diagram of that action. At the beginning of "Aeolus," the narrator describes the actions of the workers:

Grossbooted draymen rolled barrels dullthudding out of Prince's stores and bumped them up on the brewery float. On the brewery float bumped dullthudding barrels rolled by grossbooted draymen. (116)

Here, Joyce is using the text to convey the sound "dullthudding," as well as the action of loading and unloading that is taking place at the tram station. It also establishes the circular motion mirrored in the coming and going of the busy tramlines.

[25] Another, more intricate example can be found in the "Eumaeus" episode. Bloom convinces Stephen to leave the café where he is helping Stephen recuperate from a drinking bout. As they leave, Stephen stops at the door: "Stephen, who confessed to still feeling poorly and fagged out, paused at the, for a moment ... the door to ..." (660). The reader has no trouble imagining Bloom and Stephen side-by-side, walking out the door. When Bloom reaches the street, he turns to Stephen, who is nowhere to be seen. Stephen pauses while the world continues, and then catches up, much like the phrase "the door to" pauses while the paragraph continues. It eventually catches up with the reader, but too late. The action of the printed word also resembles the rearranging text of "Faith." Just when the reader believes that the words have resolved into a permanent form, letters drop and move, shifting into a completely new idea.

[26] Perhaps the most notable use of the camera trick method is employed by Joyce at the end of the "Circe" episode. Bloom has just removed Stephen from the brothel, and, after a brief altercation they are safe. Bloom turns to see what appears to be the specter of his deceased son, Rudy. Bloom calls to him, but the boy "[g]azes unseeing into Bloom's eyes and goes on reading, kissing, smiling" (609). It is unclear if Bloom has seen the aged apparition of his son, placed Stephen in his son's role, or imagined the encounter. In any case, it is real for Bloom.

[27] Bloom's vision is replicating another cinematic effect: the afterimage. Unlike trick photography, the afterimage is an amalgamation of what has been seen and what the brain interprets and retains. Mary Doane describes this phenomenon as the "retention of an image on the retina for varied durations after the removal of a stimulus (usually a bright light or color)" (69). For Bloom, the momentary movement of shadow or light produced an afterimage in his mind. Not a white spot or amorphous space, but the image of his dead son.

[28] As the words within "Faith" fall and fade, their absence creates an afterimage of the text while new words take their place. Unlike a live event that happens only once, the reader can recreate the action repeatedly. It is this ability of recreation that Kendall and Joyce rely on. Each recreation leads to a reexamination of the text and its meaning. Finally, the ability to remove a single piece or frame from the narrative is what Doane terms "indexicality." When a scene is removed from one of the works above, "Time becomes heterogeneous and unpredictable and harbors the possibility of perpetual newness, difference, the marks of modernity itself" (11). While she was applying the idea to cinema, it works just as easily for Joyce and new media. When a scene is removed, time in the narrative becomes suspended. The moment can be examined, and then reinserted back into the flow of the story.

[29] Cinematic influence forms a cyclical relationship between Joyce and artists like Kendall. They both begin with the word and add cinematic effect to make it something more. The very techniques Joyce borrowed from the visual medium are being reappropriated by new media. While new media artists cite Joyce as an influence and attempt to capture what he wove into his work, they are really employing visual effects Joyce borrowed from cinema.

Joyce's Hyperlinks

[30] Since Gilbert's study, the boldface headings in "Aeolus" have represented some form of newspaper headline. However, by placing Ulysses in the realm of electronic literature, the headlines take on a new role, that of hyperlink. The headlines, listed neatly as block text, provide a link to each section. Some links are capable of pointing to multiple points in the novel. For instance "HIS NATIVE DORIC" (126) points both to the section in "Aeolus" and the later episode "Sirens," in which Simon Dedalus sings in "our native Doric" (282). Likewise, "SUFFICIENT FOR THE DAY ..." (138) could also lead to the "Ithaca" episode prior to Bloom's monetary accounting for the day (711). "MEMORABLE BATTLES RECALLED" (127) can provide a link to the outspoken Citizen and the "Cyclops" episode (292).

[31] It has been argued that the headlines do not properly resemble newspaper headlines. Nor do they accurately fit subheads that are typically placed below headlines. Joyce had no conception of hyperlinks or what they could be. However, as hyperlinks, they more accurately fit the intertextual design Joyce was seeking. In a letter to Frank Budgeon about the episode "Oxen of the Sun," Joyce writes about the many connections and meanings he intends to include in the text. He concludes with:

This progression is also linked back at each part subtly with some forgoing episode of the day and, besides this, with the natural stages of development in the embryo and the periods of faunal evolution in general. (Ellmann 252)

He ends the letter to Budgen with, "How's that for high?" (252). Joyce was not simply trying to create an encyclopedic version of Dublin. He was consciously including as many meanings as he could, ensuring that every reader, from the dock worker to the University professor would be able to draw numerous meanings from his text. When asked to explain his methods, Joyce balked, saying, "These methods are so manifold, varying as they do from one hour of the day to another, from one organ of the body to another ... I could not attempt to reply" (Gilbert 128). The very idea of being able to encapsulate a general meaning, while providing a link to a deeper understanding of that idea is what Joyce was attempting—it is also at the philosophical heart of a hyperlink.

[32] Joyce proclaimed in a letter to T.S. Eliot that "Ulysses is a book with a beginning, middle and an end and should be presented as such" (Ellmann, Letters 315). This is not to say that Ulysses cannot be approached in a non-linear way. An attempt at a non-linear reading would not necessarily disrupt Joyce's assertion of a beginning, middle and an end. Even a non-traditional approach would render that result; it would simply take a different route to reach the conclusion.

[33] Hypertext fiction seeks to create another path through narrative that is in opposition to the traditional progression. When successful, it creates a network of interconnecting episodes that can be reached (or skipped) based on various choices the reader makes. Early, non-electronic, examples of this technique can be found in Vladamir Nabokov's Pale Fire and the more contemporary Choose Your Own Adventure series for children. While the Choose Your Own Adventure titles offer a rudimentary this-or-that approach, Pale Fire invites a more reader-oriented approach to the narrative. Furthermore, though not addressed in this essay, Nabokov and Joyce both explore (albeit in different ways) another Deleuzian idea: becoming animal.

Non-linear Reading

[34] Experiencing Ulysses in a non-linear way only requires two things: a starting point, and a means for navigating the text. In using "Aeolus," there are many starting points available to us, both character and object: Bloom, Stephen, or mirrors, to name a few. For the purpose of this demonstration, I will use Nelson's Pillar as a departure point for other sections of the episode and novel. As for the means of navigating the text, I will use mainly Gifford's annotations, but combine my own notes for related subjects. Nelson's Pillar, directly or indirectly, appears 10 times within Ulysses as a whole. Since "Aeolus" is the center of the novel, rather than starting at the first mention of Nelson in "Telemachus," we start in the center of Dublin, at noon on June 16.

[35] Nelson, himself, is a hyperlink into the history Joyce layers into his work. In a small part, he is, to use Joyce's own description, a cynosure for Ulysses. Nelson is English rule, adultery, transportation, character and communication icon. It is through Nelson that we can begin to move into other sections of the novel.

[36] Nelson's Pillar bookends the episode. Joyce opens with it and closes with it. In "Aeolus," it appears one other time, as the object in Stephen's parable. Nelson is easily linked to other episodes. Proceeding chronologically, he is represented in "Telemachus" by Buck Mulligan, who says "Ireland expects that every man this day will do his duty" (15), an object in three parts of "Aeolus," as outlined above and as one of the obstacles Bloom climbs over in the "Circe" episode, to name just a few.

[37] Once a new episode is entered via Nelson, other options become available. From Stephen's speech, you can link back to the other speeches and the characters. The characters themselves provide links to other sections. Charting these links produces a complex tree of relationships between the people, objects and locations in Ulysses. A relationship that already exists, but through a non-linear approach, it takes on a different form. It is in this way that Joyce uses Nelson's Pillar as a rudimentary hyperlink.

[38] In its secondary form, the Nelson link provides access to the layered meanings that Joyce has included in his work. In the episode "Wandering Rocks," the old crippled sailor appears at 14 Nelson Street (248) and growls "England expects... ," which is a clear reference to Nelson's flag communication at the battle of Trafalgar. In this context, Joyce is transcending his basic linking of the novel's physical topology. He is creating a door to the vast layers of meaning that lie just beneath the novel's surface. It is via this connection of object and idea that Joyce reaches the "memex" of the human mind. The memex concept was put forth by Vannevar Bush in 1945. His article "As We May Think" proposed a computer that would work as the human mind does—by association. Bush asserts that "[w]ith one item in its grasp, [the mind] snaps instantly to the next that is suggested by the association of thoughts, in accordance with some intricate web of trails carried by the cells of the brain..." (55). Bush's memex in narrative form would strongly resemble Deleuze's plane of consistency.

[39] Returning to Deleuze, he and Guattari describe a successful novel as "flattening all of the multiplicities on a single plane of consistency or exteriority, regardless of their number of dimensions" (9). For Deleuze, a novel should exist on a "single page" (9). While its number exceeds Deleuze's single sheet, the spirit of containing all events upon a single plane is present within Ulysses. As demonstrated above, Joyce achieves this through its rich strata of intertextual meaning. Each layer exists simultaneously with all others.

[40] With Ulysses as a concrete positive example of a rhizome, apply the idea back to Kendall's "Faith." Kendall's piece is admittedly less ambitious than Joyce's, only occupying five pages of action. However, its method of interactivity is similar to Ulysses in that the reader proceeds by reading what is presented and only actively clicking to turn from one page to the next. Like Ulysses, Kendall achieves interactivity through words. Like Ulysses, the action in faith resides upon a single plane of consistency. It is the reader who draws in meaning from the outside.

Hypertext's Limitations

[41] Oddly enough, all of Joyce's connections with hypertext and electronic literature lack one thing: a solid, working, electronic version of either Ulysses or Finnegan's Wake. Part of the blame lies with Joyce's estate, which has routinely refused making either text available for such a project. The other problem is more nebulous and is perhaps described best with Joyce's own words. In a letter written to Claud Sykes in 1917, Joyce apologizes for needing to include a few more revisions he omitted in the previous day's letter because he was "in hurry of catching post" (Ellmann, Letters 124). The note indicates that (among other changes) the description of Sargent should "for 'wheywhite' read 'wheysour.'" This note also shows that Joyce was the only person capable of proofreading his own work. While the difference between "wheywhite" and "wheysour" may be negligible to the casual reader, it was important enough to Joyce to make a change. This type of editing makes getting at a true edition of Ulysses nearly impossible. Nearly every edition of Ulysses has been criticized in one way or another. Armand comments that the edition compiled by Hans Gabler may have contained words written by Joyce, but "is a text no one ever wrote: it have never existed prior to its publication" (34). Any electronic edition would need to contend with this criticism. At the same time, an edition of Ulysses that was simply a hyper-aware version of Gifford's annotations is also a failure to capture Joyce's artwork. It is here that current hypertext fiction writers hold the advantage. Their work is not subject to an edition or a printing. They are free to leave their words fluid and changeable long after the artist has faded.

[42] Joyce was constantly aware of the interconnectedness of his work. He was witness to the complex technological and social changes taking place around him. Although he had no term to express it, Joyce's work is very much a precursor to hypertext literature. His methods for creating multiple levels of meaning available to anyone willing to explore them is akin to a hyperlinked word or phrase. It only takes a single click to open a new realm of meaning. Once that world is opened the larger picture is revealed. Joyce included a myriad of history, art, music and religion obscured by the palimpsest that is the printed text of Ulysses. Making these layers more apparent will initiate scholars and casual readers into the complex series of connections that Joyce wove throughout his work. Likewise, recognition of Joyce's position within the realm of new media provides a foothold for emerging critical approaches to the genre.

Works Cited

Armand, Louis. Techne: James Joyce, Hypertext and Technology. New York: BPR, 2007.

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