Step 2c: Aw, Shucks! The forty-foot hole

the forty foot

I asserted, in Step 2, that only one web link would ever be needed for any particular chapter.  I had a feeling I would be wrong, and I am.

On page 18, just five pages from the end, the “action” moves from the Martello tower to the “Forty Foot Hole”.  It’s too small a feature to find easily on Google Maps.  In any case, it’s just below the Martello Tower.

I have added a comment that will tell someone that “This is just below the Martello Tower, a creek opening up by rocky mouth into the sea.”  Now I don’t find that to be adequate, and I find meaning in its opening up so directly into Wales, away from Ireland–as had been noted earlier by the mailship leaving daily. from Kingstown Pier, for freedom.  Actually, there’s quite a bit going on, with Mulligan “ape-ing” Icarus, and freedom as the mainland straight in our sites.

Hyperlink for the "Forty Foot"

Here’s a problem.  Martello Tower is mentioned many times.  The words “forty foot” are only mentioned once, and who knows what Joyce is talking about.  All of a sudden, they’ve gone from eating breakfast (“rashers”) to diving in a pool.

I have tried  a direct hyperlink, but how would someone find it?

I am trying the Rectangle Link Tool, available in PDFxChange.  With it draw an area rectangular–oooor, some sort of polygon–for which any combination of the following are possible in an Actions List:

  • Add “Go to a page in this document” . . .
  • Add “Go to a page in another document” . . .
  • Add “Open a web link” . . .
  • Add “Open a file” . . .

I have yet to use all four or so functions at once, but I do wonder whether this would be an explosion of references.

Contradicting myself, I will place a small Rectangular Link around the Comment line underneath the words “Forty Foot”.  This will give me a comment, for those who just need a little reminding, and a link to “” for those who don’t.  I love this set of pages:  James Joyce’ Ulysses:  A Dublin Tour.  It feels as close to a “You Are There” day as anything I’ve experienced in Web sites.

I could also use some of the other features.  I could add an audio file to play when there are references to “Who Goes with Fergus?”  There may come a day when I will need to send users to some special glossary, in this page or another.  I hope not.  I do not want this to digital annotation to look like a music box.

Now I must follow suit and place a similar link underneath the first instance of “Martello Tower”.  However, that is only mentioned obliquely, and by the Englishman Haines–out of slight curiosity. 

Fortunately, Mulligan grandly  “faced about and blessed gravely thrice the tower, the surrounding land and the awaking mountains.”  That is fitting, and it is in the first 100 words.  One is not likely to lose this, despite the many references to the “tower”.


Step 2b: Maps & Digital Media

, , , the tower, the surrounding land and the awaking mountains

 I have high standards for maps.  Just click on the one at left. My background is in Geographical Information Systems.  Nothing could be so legible as my products, if they could be.  But I do not have the control over my blog maps that I could have otherwise..  Instead I tried to make my best product by emphasizing what would be important to the reader.

Above are four different Google Maps that I have spliced together in Snag-It! Image Editor.  This is much closer to the map I have in mind than a map that just lays down some pin or avatar representing some point of interest.  I’ve started now with one arrow for Telemachus at chapter 1.  Eventually, I might add another arrow for Dalkey, closer, by for chapter 2, Antinuous, and then a third for Sandymount in chapter 3.  This will eventually show Stephen’s walk into town.

Some might wonder why such a large expanse when all of chapter 1 barely leaves the tower, and then takes a few steps down to the Forty-Foot.  From the top of that tower, it might be difficult not to bless, three times, the tower, the surrounding land and the awaking mountains.  With little extra effort–and much benefit–I could change the extents to include Prospect Park (for Wandering Rocks), and then Ben of Howth (upon which Molly remembers in the last chapter).  By then, I probably can drop out markers for earlier areas.

Ben of Howth marks the northern end of Dublin Bay, where Leopold and Molly make love beneath the rhododendrons long ago.  The novel begins at the southern end and ends at the northern end.  I include the north of the Bay, where the drowned man might come to the surface.  The Kingstown Pier is just north of the Martello Tower, looking like an underfed crab.  It’s in chapter 2.  And all of Dublin, of course.  Tibradden Mountain and Two Rock Mountain rise just to the south of them.  That answered my questions about what mountains there could be on the island of Ireland.  Tibradden Mountain is the tallest.

However, we have enough.  I wish more apologists for Joyce would show those.  All the rest is easily explored.  I have a Google Map of every locations.  This becomes confusing with Wandering Rocks.  I haven’t figured out how to deal with this.

Very charming and informative is the Website Joyce Images.  It’s quite a scholarly accomplishment in my mind to have selected so many effective period images.  I hope to link some to the maps.  I hope also to link to some of the beautiful photos of Tibradden Mountain and of Two-Rock Mountain, two of the thrice-blessed awaking mountains.

Nothing provides context more quickly than a live maps with shaded reflief.  There might be a way that I could have the chapter sites reveal themselves one by one or two by two.  Once we reach the coastal plain of Dublin, the maps pointers of all chapters became dense.  I don’t believe they represent movement once they are crowded together.  An effective map might show the movement of dancing toward one another in the first five chapters, then away, then closer . . ..  In the case of Wandering Rocks, I would benefit from some better idea of how the characters move about.

Step 2: Background & Hyperlinks

Invisible Hyperlink over Chapter Title

I mentioned three types of digital comments that I could use for marking up a chapter of Ulysses:

  • Hyperlinks:  as in, please click colored underlined text.  Cursor changes, whole lot of information jumps out in a webpage.  However, I may use some sort of simple underlining.  This is more in keeping with the conventions of traditional text markup (but will I regret this?),
  • Rollovers:  or, just roll cursor over plain underlined text.  Cursor changes; dialogue box of information instantly appears,
  • Highlightings but I would prefer Highlightings:  as in, the first is dayglow. The second is my impression of the shade of interior monologue. No need to click anything.  This just distinguishes a block of text from what’s around it.  Continue reading.

I believe, at this time, that a chapter should have only one hyperlink (watch me be wrong), placed over the chapter title.  Traditionally, this is the heading.  It would be, in hardcopy, the large white space for background information, character descriptions, plot summaries–all necessary information for the reader’s instruction or memory.

I’ve chosen a hyperlink that is presently invisible.  From chapter to chapter, the corresponding page has its hyperlink directly over the chapter title.  The text is not mine.  The site, Notes On James Joyce’s Ulysses, is based on the work of Gerry Carlin & Mair Evans in their own single page Web site.

Webpage Telemachus

I wish I could contact them for permission.  I believe that the site was constructed some years before easy html editing and the blogging conventions that are a part of our lives now.  The format is very basic, but the information and writing is excellent.

At left is their Telemachus information of how I’ve reformatted their data into a three column blog, with a few extras that I’ve provided, for a total of 3+ pages of essential background information.  The consistency of their constructions is wonderful.  For each chapter, the components are:

  • Row-to-column information from Joyce’s Schemata to his friends Linati and Gilbert.  This includes essential hour and location in Dublin.
  • Correspondences between characters in Ulysses and in the Odyssey.
  • General scene associations
  • Sense.  A very useful phrase that summarizes a chapter succinctly.
  • Homeric Parallels.  The plot correspondence to Homer’s writings.
  • Summary.  The chapter summary in Ulysses.
  • Comment.  Any comments by Carlin & Evans.
  • Google Map.  My addition provides an overview of topographical information.  And I love the 3-D feature here.

That’s  a lot of information.  My real contribution has been just to divide up everything so that it is easier for the eye to browse.  I’ve been careful to divvy up the information.  The essentials are on one page.  Links can carry the viewer out to my detailed commentary.

I like how they’ve divided the Linati Schemata by chapter and have expanded upon them.  The authors have also included the unique contributions of the earlier Gilbert Schemata, especially Symbols and Meanings.  They have renamed Meaning as Sense.  This is a much better choice of Heading.  Meanings are too plentiful in any chapter, but there are over all, pervading senses to the chapters.

I have renamed Symbols as Associations.  It is a loose, intermediate word for something that is not quite yet a symbols, but which may become so in later chapters.  This is an important distinction.  I believe that Joyce occasionally start building on an association long before its urgency is apparent or notable.  Take Hamlet, for example.  Stephen eventually ends up walking side by side with Hamlet.  However, Joyce’s early associations are not particularly notable the first time through.

Finally, to repeat, this is one single link.  The user may not need all this.  I wish to avoid crowding the page.  Believe me, this will become a greater risk as we proceed through the following steps.

Step 1c: .HTML & .pdf

"Who Goes with Fergus" citation just with HTML

Fergus’ song: I sang it alone in the house, holding down the long dark chords. Her door was open: she wanted to hear my music. Silent with awe and pity I went to her bedside. She was crying in her wretched bed. For those words, Stephen: love’s bitter mystery.

For all that effort above, I had to do this below.  The misfortune of HTML is that, as least in free HTML editors or in hand-coding, the time spent on the back-end is many multiples of the time spent on the front-end.  If I had confused my single and double quotes, then I could waste a day on a small bit of code such as this.

<blockquote>span style=”background-color: #c0c0c0;”><span style=”cursor: help; text-decoration: underline;” title=”Mulligan idly sings a few lines of ‘Who Goes with Fergus?’  This sets Stephen careening. It was a song from Yeats’ play The Countess Cathleen.  The countess sells her soul that her people might not starve.  The song is sung to comfort her: Who will go drive with Fergus now, And pierce the deep wood’s woven shade,  And dance upon level shore? Young man, lift up your brow,  And lift your tender eyelids, maid, And brood on hopes and fears no more. And no more turn aside and brood Upon love’s bitter mystery; For Fergus rules the brazen cars,  And rules the shadow of the wood, And the white breast of the dim sea And all disheveled wandering stars.”>Fergus’ song</span>: I sang it alone in the house, holding down the long dark chords. Her door was open: she wanted to hear my music. Silent with awe and pity I went to her bedside. She was crying in her wretched bed. For those words, Stephen: love’s bitter mystery.</span></p></blockquote>

Confusing, isn’t it?  I started this chapter with a little project using only HTML.  My feelings about HTML have not changed in years.  It is a good medium, when a better medium has not presented itself.  I appreciate the remarkable initial problems that it solved in the development of the Internet.  I know that I can jump on any webpage and there it is quite quickly.

And I hate the stuff.  I hate seeing tags.  I hate the workarounds, where tools that were originally meant for other applications were re-routed for other uses.   Why are we using an entity called a “Title” as a comment, and why am I limited to a certain character count.

And yet, I use it everyday, transparently, in my blog.  I can’t deny that, but I’m thankful and also see the limitations.  I believe that one can read a blog post for about a page (500-600 words).  Past that, HTML–or the blog post itself starts to intrude.

I like using the “piano roll” or “butcher paper” analogy.  We’ve all seen posts, or screes, that have run on forever.  Yes, they do.  And, no matter how Jack Kerouac wrote, it was still chopped down to paperback format.  This is why my own posts tend to be in the 500-600 word range.

"Who Goes with Fergus?", with .pdf (PDF-XCHANGE Viewer Lite)

HTML, or its variations, does not handle literature well.  I had despaired of ever seeing better until the twin forces of Adobe Reader X and eReaders.  This posts illustrates that.  If you click on the image below, you will see how an eReader deals with a marked-up .pdf.

Step 1b: Digital Workarounds

Not every idea, that I put forth, will work in the interface of the WordPress blog.  For those instances, I will insert screen captures–instead of relying on such devices as rollovers. Just click on a screen capture image.  It will then burst to life on a separate Web page.

At other times, instead of screen captures or html, I will rely on Scribd. Occasionally, I will ask you to simply view the text, with highlightings. This gives me more.  I can then embed the text in an iFrame, and it will look reasonably the same as the .pdf.  That’s easy enough. But, once again, this will be a flat file, with no pop-up rollovers. 

My greatest frustration is that the “underlinings” or “rollovers” do not work.  The text is flat.  Please do not bother to click on anything.  I could change some to hypertext in html, but I’m giving myself a lot fo work for only an approximation of the experience.  Please open up the .pdf and follow along for a great time.

Just to show you that I am game, I’ve taken the first half page and done it up with HTML rollovers. Just these four exhausted me. I can’t believe I “grew up” coding this stuff by hand.  If you “hover” your cursor over “this dogsbody to rid of vermin”, you will see a “hoverover” the way HTML does it.  But the meter is not respected at all.  This only increases the difficulty of reading the citation.  Grrrr!
Stephen, an elbow rested on the jagged granite, leaned his palm against his brow and gazed at the fraying edge of his shiny black coat-sleeve. Pain, that was not yet the pain of love, fretted his heart. Silently, in a dream she had come to him after her death, her wasted body within its loose brown graveclothes giving off an odour of wax and rosewood, her breath, that had bent upon him, mute, reproachful, a faint odour of wetted ashes. Across the threadbare cuffedge he saw the sea hailed as a great sweet mother by the wellfed voice beside him. The ring of bay and skyline held a dull green mass of liquid. A bowl of white china had stood beside her deathbed holding the green sluggish bile which she had torn up from her rotting liver by fits of loud groaning vomiting.
―Look at yourself, he said, you dreadful bard!

Stephen bent forward and peered at the mirror held out to him, cleft by a crooked crack. Hair on end. As he and others see me. Who chose this face for me? This dogsbody to rid of vermin. It asks me too.

Step 1: A Gutenberg Copy

Page 1, Pre-1923 Edition

At left is the first page of chapter 1 of Ulysses, as published by the Gutenberg Project .  The Project is based the edition on pre-1923 texts, which would suggest that it is much closer in intent to the author’s wishes.  I love how the episodes are framed.  Above is the entirety of Mulligan’s part in the Black Mass.  The same will be true for each of Stephen’s internal monologue.  Each ends its page almost as a punchline (“omphalos” takes on a different meaning to me, on page 5.  Significant sounding elsewhere, framed here it is the last of dreary ideas.) And, in fact, this edition feels downright spacious compared to more modern editions.  Those look and feel like bricks.  Reading the digital copy, in its Arial size 12 font, is delightful, with all that margin space for my elbows.  Aaahhhh!

A clean unmarked page of Ulysses.  Some folks are highlighting and commenting like mad by page 1 above.  They are doing that on an analogue copy.  What if I saved you the effort?  And, at the same time, why don’t I try to be as unobtrusive as possible?

I have  chosen the first chapter for the project I’m describing.  I believe I have given just enough hyperlinks (one two three in this case), comments (147 or so), and my own personal approach to the Interior Monologue.  With Oxen of the Sun, Joyce goes completely wild.  In fairness, I hope to use these methods on the chapter Sirens.  I hope this will yield clarification to a ridiculously difficult chapter.

As with Burgess, I do believe that Ulysses is best tackled one chapter at a time.  The chapters do interconnect (we will see a good example of that), but not so much that the book has to be read in sequence.  If I’m offering the first chapter, then I believe you have the foundations for the next four or more.  Good luck to you!  I will explain my technique as we go along.

I love the thought of 18 or more “users” dividing their time to each of the 18 chapters.  This would be very rich for discussion, and any copy whole or in part would be infinitely duplicated.  Yes!  I like thinking about this idea.

Respect the Text

I must remember not to mark the text obtrusively.  There are three issues that I must address:

  • There must be at least one hyperlink, and hopefully only one.  Hyperlinks have become the faithful old horses of our digital lives.  However, too many and they can seem like the pieces of a piñata falling out of the sky.  For those in need of background, setting, a plot summary, etc.–could we make an agreement that one hyperlink beneath the chapter title–or else, at the first reference of a landmark–could lead to one special Web site, which could in turn lead to many?
  • We’ve now become accustomed to “rollovers”.  There are some great examples out there.  In Adobe Acrobat, rolling a cursor over a highlighted or underlined string of words will bring up a comment window.  Clicking on the string can bring up the entire text.  Very useful.  This is stealth commenting.  I must make these underlinings apparent, but I consider these lines to be no more obtrusive than penciled underlinings.
  • Finally, I desire to deal with Joyce’s Interior Monologue (or Internal Monologue) straightforwardly.  However, there are special advantages to the .pdf approach.  Adobe .pdf makes it quite clear that we are dealing with blocks of text, and not lines.  It’s how I believe the mind operates.  I mean to highlight, with a transparent gray, Stephen’s interior thoughts.  Some may believe this is intrusive.  I, on the other hand, believe that this is a useful tool for study.  Besides, why not do once and for all time what frustrated student have attempted manually for years?

As we will go along, I will be making some pretty obvious markings.  I will be able to justify them.  My markings obviate the inital confusion of encountering the interior monologue of Stephen and Leopold’s thoughts.  However, they do not turn the text into Cliff Notes.