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James Joyce and Censorship : The Trials of

James Joyce and Censorship

The Trials of "Ulysses"

Hardcover

Published: 1st November 1997
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  • Paperback View Product Published: 8th December 1997
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Did the artistic aspirations of Ulysses make its salacious parts any less salacious? This work of scrupulous scholarship is an entertaining and important book that traces the fascinating historical details behind the Ulysses trials. It shows that judge Woolsey's famous decision was based on testimony by experts who were calculating, fuzzy, and illogical. Vanderham exposes some of the facile pieties about Art that have prevailed in the academy and the courts ever since. His analysis has important implications for the law, helping us see that such judicial decisions should have a different basis altogether.--E. D. Hirsch, Jr.Author of Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to KnowWhen James Joyce's Ulysses began to appear in installments in 1918, it provoked widespread outrage and disgust. The novel violated a long list of taboos by denigrating English royalty, describing masturbation, and mingling the erotic with the excremental--in a style that some early reviewers called literary bolshevism. As a result, U.S. Postal authorities denied several installments of Ulysses access to the mails, initiating a series of suppressions that would result in a thirteen-year ban on Joyce's novel. Obscenity trials spanned the next decade. Using personal interviews and primary sources never before discussed in depth, James Joyce and Censorship closely examines the legal trials of Ulysses from 1920 to 1934.Paying particular attention to the decision that lifted the ban on Ulysses in 1933, a decision that the ACLU cites to this day in cases involving censorship, Vanderham traces the growth of the fallacy that literature is incapable of influencing individuals. He argues persuasively that underneath every esthetic lie ethical, political, philosophical, and religious convictions. The legal and the literary aspects of the Ulysses controversy, Vanderham insists, are virtually inseparable. By analyzing the writing and revising of Ulysses in the context of Joyce's lifelong struggle with the censors, he argues that the censorship of Ulysses affected not only the critical reception of the novel but its very shape.

"Did the artistic aspirations of Ulysses make its salacious parts any less salacious? This work of scrupulous scholarship is an entertaining and important book that traces the fascinating historical details behind the Ulysses trials. It shows that judge Woolsey's famous decision was based on testimony by experts who were calculating, fuzzy, and illogical. Vanderham exposes some of the facile pieties about Art that have prevailed in the academy and the courts ever since. His analysis has important implications for the law, helping us see that such judicial decisions should have a different basis altogether." -E. D. Hirsch, Jr.,author of Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know

ISBN: 9780814787908
ISBN-10: 0814787908
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 242
Published: 1st November 1997
Publisher: New York University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.57