Saturday, June 21, 2014

PQ on the new book on Joyce's Ulysses



I have blogged 2-3 times on Kevin Birmingham's The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce's Ulysses  but PQ has now put up a much more definitive blog post explaining the book and linking to many reviews of it. PQ also has some other cool Joyce links, including a 1922 Vanity Fair article about Joyce written by Djuna Barnes! Excerpt from the Vanity Fair piece:

Because he had heard of the suppression of The Little Review on account of Ulysses and of the subsequent trial, he sat down opposite me, who was familiar with the whole story, ordering a white wine. He began to talk at once. “The pity is,” he said, seeming to choose his words for their age rather than their aptness, “the public will demand and find a moral in my book—or worse they may take it in some more serious way, and on the honor of a gentleman, there is not one single serious line in it.”

PQ is reading the book and says he'll write more about it. I am eager to read his observations.

2 comments:

Arthur Hlavaty said...

I have now read The Most Dangerous Book, and I recommend it. There's a lot of Injury to the Eye Motif, but what is in some ways more painful is reading about the censorship they had to fight. It's a reminder that while it's always supposed to be about the most corruptible (as Lenny Bruce said, "the guy who gets horny smelling roses,") being moved to harmful actions, but it's really about ideas, in this case birth control (Ezra Pound complained about art being treated like "Dr. Condom's invention), female sexual pleasure, and love that dares not publish its name.

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