Database for Animation Studies


Animating Joyce: Tim Booth’s Ulys

According to Paul Wells, the lengthy and intimate relationship of the animation auteur to the animated text is similar to the writing process, and the animated form's sense of its own artifice highlights the transformative aspects of adapting literary sources for the cinema. It is this expression of interiority, translation and textual process that makes the animated film a perfect vehicle for an adaptation of James Joyce's Ulysses (1922), which utilizes multiple narrators to construct and deconstruct representations of urban, Dublin society in the early 20th century. It is the purpose of this article to consider Tim Booth's animated short Ulys (1998), which is in part a commentary on Joyce's writing authorship, and also an adaptation of Joyce's novel. The author considers Booth's use of animation to recover the image-schemas' that underpin Ulysses, and the small spatial stories' that inform human cognition of both the literary and animated text.

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Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal
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