Saturday, September 20, 2003

Florida Dreaming

Here's a good reason to go to Florida:
The University of Miami has a collection
of sheet music containing songs from
James Joyce's works and from his personal
repertoire. A brilliant idea. You can find
this gem of a collection (large, but not
complete) in the Otto G. Richter Library,
Archives and Special Collections Department,
or go here.

Friday, September 19, 2003


In 1909, Joyce had another money-making idea
that didn't pan out. He wanted to import Irish
Tweed to Trieste. Dublin Woolen Mills was
all for the idea and hired Joyce as their sales
rep to Trieste but I don't believe anything tweed
ever actually changed hands.

That doesn't stop the DW Mills from bragging
about their past employee :

“The shop is now run by George, Bernard and
Valerie Roche, the greatgrandchildren of
Valentine James Roche who opened the store
on Bachelor's Walk in 1888. The Woollen Mills
has a number of interesting connections with
notable Irishmen and women, having employed
James Joyce and the Trieste representative
and the founder having held meetings with
Michael Davitt and Maude Gonne in the rooms
above the shop.”

Thursday, September 18, 2003

A Juicy Tidbit

In researching the dissenting opinion in the trial
against Ulysses in 1933 - U.S. v One Book Called
Ulysses by James Joyce, 72 F2d 705 (CA 2, 1934) -
I found out something fascinating about Judge
Martin Manton, who wrote the dissenting opinion
in the case.

Judge Woolsey’s opinion is one of the most famous
legal decisions ever written. It deserves, and will
receive, a later post of its own. But the case was
not won with out opposition, most strongly from
Judge Martin Manton and Judge Learned Hand (wow)
who stated that “fundamental values should be
expressed in a work of art and that one should not
be diverted for the obscenity of the book”. They were
seen as taking the “Pro-Morality View”.

Judge Manton, took this stance not because he
believed in it, but to disguise his own immoral

Judge Manton was convicted a few years after the
Ulysses trial, of conspiracy to obstruct justice.
He took over $186,000 in bribes in 28 separate
“distinct and overt acts.”(United States v Federal
Appeals Judge Martin T. Manton, 107 F2d 834
(CA 2, 1939) cert den 309 US 664; 60 S Ct 590;
84 L Ed 1012 (1940) )

Coming out against Ulysses was part of his cover, an
attempt to make himself look good and moral. He
was sentenced to two years in jail and a 10,000 fine.
And to whatever appropriate punishment Karmic Law
can come up with for someone who insincerely
denigrates a man and his book for his own personal
gain. What a skank.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Tomorrow: A Day Away

I'm doing some research on the famous Woolsey
decision. Haven't finished so nothing big to report
today, but here's one thing I didn't know. The
decision was 5 to 4. Close call. I'm trying to dig up
the dissenting opinion. Hope to have more on this

Also, I purchased a tape on eBay of a reading by
James Joyce. I've never heard his voice before.
I hope that comes tomorrow too.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Joyce as Troubadour

I’ve been struggling to come up with ways to make
enough money via some side project so that I can
quit my job and just work on my writing. I find
myself thinking a lot about James Joyce’s struggles
to survive. We’re both good at coming up with ideas,
but not so good at the follow through or making our
ideas pay.

One of his early ideas was to be a traveling minstrel,
sort of a 20th century O’Carolan. Here’s how he
explained it in a letter to Gogarty written June 3rd,

“My idea for July and August is this - to get
Dolmetsch to make me a lute and to coast the
south of England from Falmouth to Margate,
singing old English songs”

And he told Padraic Colum that the tour would be
“personally conducted, like the Emperor Nero’s
tour in Greece.”

The plan didn’t work out. Dolmetsch, who had
made a similar instrument for Yeats, was hesitant
to make another one. He told Joyce that making a
lute would be highly expensive and “I could hardly
say when it would be finished. The lute is moreover
extremely difficult to play and very troublesome to
keep in order.” He recommended Joyce use a spinet
or harpsichord. Joyce gave up on the idea instead.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Copyright fans will like this article wherein University
of Tulsa English professor Robert Spoo asserts that
Ulysses lacks copyright in the US and falls under
Public Domain.

“The argument by the Joyce estate and Random
House for 1934 as the commencement of a
Ulysses copyright in the United States has no
basis in law, Spoo says. He explains that U.S.
copyright law in force in 1922 required foreign-
produced works in English to satisfy stringent
provisions ?which unabashedly protected our
domestic printers and book manufacturers.
Under that law, Joyce would have had to deposit
a copy of the book at the copyright office within
two months of publication in France, and then,
within another four months, have the book printed
on American soil by a U.S. printer. Spoo says
Joyce did not meet these requirements, thus
relinquishing his novel to the public domain.”

Spoo’s article was published in the Yale Law
Journal, Vol. 108, No. 3. You can receive a copy of
the article by emailing

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Kickin' It with Joyce One Afternoon

If , by some universal tip o' the hat, I was
able to spend an afternoon with James Joyce
the first thing I would do is remind myself to
avoid the phrase "kickin' it".

Then I'd like to spend some time with him
sitting around the living room, listening to

I'd play some oldies (Gloomy Winter or
Brackagh Hill) and say, "Now this seems
like your kind of song. I'm surprised you
didn't use this in the Sirens episode".

And I'd play some new songs that I think he'd
like. And maybe I could get him to sing Ye
Banks and Braes for me. And then he'd ask
me to sing something. Gosh, what would
I choose.

Wouldn't that be a lovely afternoon...

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