Ulysses app causes Apple to blush

This morning’s Observer column.

Last Wednesday, 16 June, was Bloomsday, a day revered by admirers of James Joyce the world over. It's celebrated because 16 June 1904 is the day in which all the action in Joyce's novel Ulysses takes place. Readers follow the perambulations around Dublin of the book's endearing hero, a freelance advertisement-seller named Leopold Bloom, who is tactfully keeping out of the way while his wife is being unfaithful to him in the marital home at No 7 Eccles Street.

Bloomsday celebrations take many forms but usually involve readings from the novel, and often the consumption of food and drink (gorgonzola sandwiches and burgundy, for example, in honour of Bloom’s lunchtime fare). This year there was an added frisson to the festivities, for it transpired that Apple, a company not hitherto noted for its interest in modernist literature, had been paying close attention to the content of Joyce’s great work…