We recently discovered that University College Dublin has released a digital multimedia edition of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. This version of Portrait is broken up into chapters and provides mobile-friendly text as well as some very brief videos helping to explain the novel’s complex and evolving array of characters. For those of us who like to listen to our literature, University College Dublin has also provided audiobook versions of the chapters (read by Irish actors Barry McGovern and Sam McGovern), which can be found with each chapter or together in a convenient playlist on Soundcloud.
As people become more and more reminiscent of Donna Haraway’s “Manifesto for Cyborgs”–a majority of people are inseperable from their phones, and some say the average person reads a novel’s worth of words a day on the Internet–this transition from printed media to allow for mobile and multimedia experiences is welcome. Although there will likely always be a place for the printed text, embracing a reality in which novels such as Portrait can be experienced in multiple forms increases public access to canonical works. We look forward to reading (and listening to) Portrait anew.