Tilting at Windmills and Touring Dublin –All From the Comfort of your Chair

Who knows if the internet makes us smarter or dumber, but it sure is fun. Here are a couple of new items from across the web which have a bit more literary worth than your average video of dancing kittens.

Don Quixote:
Don Quixote was Dr. Rosenbach’s favorite book and not only do we have many different editions (including the first, shown below) but we also have the only documents in Cervantes’s hand on this side of the Atlantic.

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quixote de La Mancha. Madrid: por Juan de la Cuesta, 1605. C2 .C419d 605

If you love Don Quixote as much as Dr. R, you might enjoy the new Open Yale course on Cervantes’ Don Quixote with Professor Roberto González Echevarría. For those of you not familiar with Open Yale, it consists of free videotaped courses put online by the college–you can watch online or download them, either from the site directly or through Itunes-U. The Don Quixote course consists of twenty four 75 minute lectures, proceeding chapter-by-chapter through the text. I’m currently in the midst of an Open Yale course on Roman architecture, but I’ll definitely be adding this one to the queue.

Ulysses Seen: We’ve written about Robert Berry’s Ulysses Seen on this blog before and displayed his drawings at the 2008 Bloomsday, but now the web comic version of Ulysses has started its second episode–Calypso. It is accompanied, as was Telemachus, by a wonderful Reader’s Guide written by Rosenbach alums Janine Utell and Mike Barsanti. But wait a second, savvy Rosen-readers may be saying, Calypso is episode IV of Ulysses, not episode II– what’s going on? Here’s Berry’s explanation (see the full version here):

” Yes, well, it’s a long story. ULYSSES is a very big book filled with many intertwining stories, and it takes a rather long time to draw. But drawing it in comics, and releasing it as an educational/discussion based format on the iPad, means we’ve realized some new ways to look at the thing…

So we’ve decided to bring Mr Bloom into the picture early. We’ve decided to show the comparisons and contrasts between his world and Stephen’s right now in the front of our adaptation…

It’s still number four and you haven’t missed out on numbers two and three. We just thought it best, and maybe clearest in keeping with my own vision of the novel, that you get to see this part next. I believe the world Joyce portrays, the Dublin and so much more of Summer 1904, gets a bit easier through the eyes and insights of Leopold Bloom. And I believe the novel is illuminated better, and discussed that much more easily, by seeing Bloom and Stephen’s mornings together. For this reason, our next installment will collect and assemble episodes two and five into one massive chapter.”

Pages of Calypso will be released until the episode is complete by Bloomsday, which is also when the iPad app will go live. So you could be the tech-savviest chap at Bloomsday–following along on your electronic gizmo as you hear the words of Joyce read out from the Rosenbach steps!

So what are your suggestions for enhancing your literary life through the Internet? Comment and let us know what sites you have found most interesting, helpful, or fun!