James Joyce

More talk of Joyce, because we all know y’all love Joyce.

Lucia Joyce: Troubled Spawn

Lucia Joyce: Troubled Spawn

Speaking of James Joyce, check out this post on MobyLives about the latest on the Joyce estate’s “disgusting” attempt at censorship.

Here’s a little quote from The Stanford News about some of the nastiness that’s been going on:

Stephen Joyce has stopped countless public readings of his grandfather’s works and discouraged a generation of research. At one point, he told a prominent Joyce scholar that he was no longer giving permission to quote from any of Joyce’s work. He told one performer, who had simply memorized a portion of Finnegans Wake for an onstage presentation, that he had probably “already infringed” on the estate’s copyright, according to a 2006 New Yorker story.

Author News / 20 Comments
October 1st, 2009 / 11:36 am

James Joyce does not exist


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about books considered legendary, classics, for their language and singularity in time. And then for how those books, over that time, have become books considered timeless and vital to the cause, innovators without which… etc. Joyce, Beckett, Stein, Faulkner, etc. The big names everybody deigns to have read, often via schooling, and who you often hear the more serious critics and often honchos in publishing referring to at large. Seems like I’ve seen or heard of a lot of speech where people in the publishing industry (particularly the larger sections) are talking about their influences and what they like, and many of them referring to these classics, and even if they haven’t said it aloud surely they would not shake their head at the idea that these books are the foundations of how we’ve come to where we are, and etc.

So, then, it becomes confusing to me, in this reckoning, when I think of how most any of these books, if approached today, would not exist. I can’t think of most any publisher, even the major and innovative independents, that would release Ulysses again right now, if instead of an accepted masterpiece, it were a third book by some Irish guy who had published a collection of short fiction and a weird novella. I can’t see even the more edgy presses like Dalkey doing it, or FC2 (EDIT: actually, FC2 recently published Vanessa Place’s La Medusa, which is the closest thing I’ve seen to doing what I’m talking about, which means they might have, maybe), or any of the other countless innovative-based upcroppings. Even the more “languagey” presses often don’t do books that are super-languagey, despite the seeming overwhelming admission that those monsters are the ones that defy time, and sell, perhaps gradually, forever. Maybe it would happen, but it would be a long fight, and a wellspring. I certainly can’t see a major doing it. That kind of freaks me out. Not only in that these works would not exist, but that their influences would not exist either, effectively turning off the power they’ve had in moving things forward over the time they’ve been around.

But those books sold then and sell now (and are curriculum!) for a reason, and part of it is because people since then are being taught not to read what they do not understand. A gradual and stuttered concept that could, over another gradual and stuttered period, be reversed.


Behind the Scenes / 696 Comments
September 3rd, 2009 / 1:34 pm

Power Quote: James Joyce


If you would like to read again, or (I’m hoping) for the first time, an excerpt from the penultimate chapter “Ithaca” in Ulysses, wherein Stephen (of A Portrait of an artist as a young man) escorts a drunken Leopold Bloom home, click after the break.


Power Quote / 14 Comments
August 22nd, 2009 / 3:00 pm