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James Joyce.
Ulysses. New York, Random House, 1934.
Call Number: PR 6019 .O9 U4 1934
Stacks, Golda Meir Library

Joyce Text

The ban on Ulysses in the U.S. was finally lifted in the first week of December 1933, the same week Prohibition was repealed. By now, the censorship of Ulysses had become as much a part of its iconographic significance as the text. This first American edition includes two prefaces discussing the legal battle, one by Random House defense attorney Morris Ernst, the other the verbatim decision by U.S. District Court Judge John M. Woolsey. Woolsey's "epoch-making judgement" (Stuart Gilbert) concluded, "in Ulysses, in spite of its unusual frankness, I do not detect anywhere the leer of the sensualist. I hold, therefore, that it is not pornographic." Ernst called the decision, "a body-blow for censors." Ironically, the text was mistakenly based on a pirated ninth Shakespeare and Company edition (unauthorized first American edition of 1929), unknowingly forwarded to Random House by James Joyce. The edition thus incorporates many typographical errors from that imprint.


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