Writings about Macs, music and more by Kirk McElhearn

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DVD Notes: The Forsyte Saga

07/27/2014

A few years ago, I watched the 2002 TV adaption of The Forsyte Saga with Damien Lewis. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) I was impressed by this series, which looks at an upper middle-class English family and the events that unfold as people in the family stop conforming to tradition. From a trilogy of novels by the […]

iOS Apps to Discover Great Literature

07/07/2014

Back in the early days of personal computing, the promise of interactive, multimedia, hypertext books was exciting, notably with Voyager’s Expanded Books. But in those days, the limits of technology prevented those “books” from gaining a foothold. You could have links and unlimited text content, but the size of videos was just slightly larger than […]

App Review: James Joyce’s Ulysses, A Guide

06/16/2014

What better way to celebrate Bloomsday – June 16, the day on which James Joyce’s Ulysses is set – than by discovering the novel in an interactive iPad app? Naxos, known for its classical music releases and audiobooks, has released the $9 Joyce’s Ulysses: A Guide which gives you Joyce’s great novel, plus a plethora […]

Happy Bloomsday to All!

06/16/2014

Once again it’s Bloomsday, the 16th of June, the day on which James Joyce’s Ulysses takes place. If you aren’t familiar with this great work of the early twentieth century, it tells the tale of a modern-day Ulysses (Leopold Bloom) as he wanders the streets of Dublin on June 16, 1904. Closely modeled on the Odyssey, Ulysses is a landmark in modernist literature.

Every year on this day, around the world, people read Ulysses alone or in groups, to themselves or out loud, in performance or simply in sitting on a couch. For this year’s Bloomsday, allow me to recommend a novel way to experience the book. The recently released unabridged audiobook of Ulysses, from Naxos, is a gem. With musical interludes and sound effects, and excellent reading by Jim Norton (and Marcella Riordan for the final chapter, the soliloquy by Molly Bloom), this reading brings the work to life in unexpected ways. At over 27 hours, you won’t be able to listen to the entire book in one day (the novel takes place over a period of “only” 18 hours), but you’ll be drawn into the story in ways you did not expect.

Graham Johnson’s Monumental Work on Schubert’s Lieder to Be Released Soon

06/11/2014

Graham Johnson, the pianist behind Hyperion Record’s monumental series of Schubert’s complete lieder, is known for having a lot to say about these songs. His liner notes to the original releases of the series are rich and full of insight. Unfortunately, the current box set doesn’t come with those notes, but just a book of […]

Monopolizing the Master: Henry James and the Politics of Modern Literary Scholarship, by Michael Anekso

05/28/2014

While we consider Henry James the one of the greatest novelists writing in the English language, he didn’t always have that reputation. During Henry’s lifetime, he struggled continuously to balance his art with the marketplace. His most popular books were often pirated, netting him very little income, and his finest works of art simply didn’t […]

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