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An Obvious Statement (for the millionth time) by Margaret Anderson

The Little Review.
September-December 1920. Vol.VII, No. 3, pp. 81-92. [Final episode].
Call Number: (SPL) AP 2 .L647
Special Collections, Golda Meir Library

The final episode of Ulysses in The Little Review appeared in the last issue before the trial, the September through December 1920 number. The February 14, 1921 trial received a great deal of press from New York dailies. The battle was followed closely nationwide, and by the international literary community.

Judges McInerney, Kernochan and Moss declared the offending passages "unintelligible," and rejected Quinn's general discussion of Joyce's literary merit. Quinn's defense was criticized later as ineffectual and ill-prepared; he was openly hostile toward his clients before the trial. He attributed Ulysses' "unintelligibility" to Joyce's glaucoma, and claimed the magazine was too obscure to harm the public. The case was lost and The Little Review was ordered to halt serialization of Ulysses. Each editor was fined fifty dollars.

A total of 23 episodes had appeared between March 1918 and December 1920. Despite their defeat in court, Anderson and Heap had achieved a certain triumph: New York editorial commentary called the court decision, "an absurd act of puritanic spleen." The trial brought the work to a larger public, and Sylvia Beach's personal admiration for The Little Review's stand against censorship led her to publish the book in 1922.


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Prepared by Christopher Barth, Virginia Haas, and Sarah McDaniel

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