Color Coding

My hypertext version of Joyce's novel features links of six different colors, both to save readers from looking at an unrelieved monochrome sea of blue links and to direct them to kinds of content that may appeal to them. The colors indicate different categories of material addressed in the notes:

Green links (Ireland) refer to Irish (and some British) history, politics, customs, language, humor, religion, mythology, sports, economics, industry, geography, modes of transportation, flora, fauna, and weather.

Orange links (Literature) signal allusions to published texts: poetry, fiction, drama, critical essays, history, philosophy, scripture, theology, science, biography, hagiography, travelogues, and newspapers.

Brown links (Dublin) point to landforms like the river and bay, the built environment such as streets, canals, buildings, bridges, trams, and statues, cultural ephemera such as money, and civic institutions.

Purple links (Performances) indicate notes about songs, operas, oratorios, stage plays, nursery rhymes, speeches, recitations, advertising pitches, prayers, liturgical rites, social personas, and impromptu clowning.

Red links (The Body) encompass anatomy, sexuality, childbirth, eating, drinking, excretion, disease, death, medicines, poisons, clothes, personal accessories, the physiology of emotion, the vagaries of memory, mental illness, and dreams.

Blue links (The Writer) address Joyce's literary styles, techniques, effects, revisions, and aesthetic theories, his incorporation of real people into his fiction, and the many textual variants that editors of the novel must wrestle with.

These categories are arbitrary, and very often the decision to assign a note to one of them must be arbitrary too, since some notes don't fit any category neatly and many might reasonably be placed in two or three. The Sandycove tower, for instance, may be understood as a physical structure in the environs of Dublin, as a remnant of Ireland's military history, or as a symbol evoking narratives in Homeric and Shakespearean literature. In hundreds of such cases, the color I have chosen represents the category that applies to the largest amount of the note’s content.

Many notes are linked to multiple passages in the text, either within a chapter or in different chapters. Occasionally, differently colored hyperlinked passages will link to the same note, because the passages concern different kinds of content.

When there are clear shifts of content emphasis within a note, I sometimes mark the transition with a colored symbol (§,§,§,§,§,§) at the beginning of a paragraph.