On June 10th, 1904, James Joyce met Nora Barnacle in Dublin. On the 16th they went on their first date, a date which later became the setting for the novel Ulysses and is now known as Bloomsday.
Nora was Joyce’s muse, and he loved her deeply throughout his life. They maintained a famous correspondence during their relationship in which Joyce proclaims his love for her and describes their sex life in lurid detail. The letters Joyce wrote to Nora demonstrate his intense passion for her and are beautifully written, but they’re also pretty hilarious because they’re just so incredibly filthy. It’s among the dirtiest things I’ve ever read, and I spend a lot of time on the Internet.
Last week I met a couple new online friends who were interested in reading aloud articles for me and sending me an MP3. I started out by sending them some Instapaper articles, but I decided I’d test the limits of what they’d do, so I asked them to record a small collection of Joyce’s letters for me.
What I got back blew my mind. Reading the letters was one thing, hearing them read aloud is an entirely different experience. The women who read these letters for me really threw themselves at the task, bringing this old love back to life. One reader does an Irish accent, which is far above and beyond what I asked for. I’m totally stunned by the quality of their work and their excellent reading.
I want you to hear these recordings. I also want to make more. Lots more. Probably not so much of smut, but of equally interesting writing. It’s quickly become an addiction and an obsession for me and for the readers I’m beginning to get to know online who love reading for me. To facilitate this, I’ve set up a small pay-what-you-want download for this content. You’ll get both readings for whatever you decide to pay, even if it’s nothing. Have a listen to the samples, and if you dig it, please toss me a couple bucks so I can pay these readers what they’re worth.