Saturday, September 27, 2003


Something occurred to me as I carried clean
laundry into my daughter's room today. She
has a poster of Nsync on her wall. Silly young
girl. Then I carried the rest of the laundry to
my room and noticed the poster of James
Joyce on my wall. I have a crush on a dead

It's a poster from one of our Bloomsday
events. It has that photo on it where Joyce
is sitting in a field or meadow, patch on his
eye, disconsolate.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Mrs. Svevo

As relayed in yesterday's post, Joyce helped Svevo
gain fame. He did the same for Svevo's wife, or at
least, for her hair. Joyce wrote to Svevo on Feb.
20, 1924 that he was making use of Signore Livia
Schmitz's name and hair for his newest heroine:
Anna Livia Purabelle. Joyce later was quoted :

"They say I have immortalized Svevo but I've also
immortalized the tresses of Signora Svevo. They
were long and reddish blond.... There is a river in
Dublin which passes dye-houses and its waters are
reddish, so I've enjoyed comparing these two things
in the book I'm writing...'

Below is the happy couple on their wedding day.

Thursday, September 25, 2003


Italo Svevo aka Ettore Schmidt, met James Joyce
in 1907, when he decided he needed English lessons.
The two men became friends and Svevo helped pull
Joyce out of a serious writing slump in 1909. Years
later, Joyce was equally helpful to Svevo, reading
the two novels he had written which had gone unno-
ticed by the public. Joyce read Svevo's novels,
admired them and helped to get Confessions of Zeno
published. Svevo wasn’t able to enjoy his delayed
success for long.

From Joyce’s letter to Harriet Weaver on September
20, 1928:

“ I have also bad news. Poor Italo Svevo was killed on
Thursday last in a motor accident. I have no details
yet only a line from his brother ... Somehow in the
case of Jews I always suspect suicide though
there was no reason in his case especially since
he came into fame...”

You can find a review of another Svevo title,
A Perfect Hoax
, here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

A Long Day

Kids to school. radio show. home for lunch. type
up BOD letter. work the rest of the day. Stop in
at the pub. Home to cook dinner. sink into chair
achingly. Too tired to write a creative blog entry
much less work on the book I'm trying to finish by
Dec 1st. How did Joyce do it? hmmmm..... Nora

Louisiananananaians may be interested
in this:

Art exhibition on display at McNeese

"An art exhibition of works based on James Joyce's
'Finnegans Wake,' by Heather Ryan Kelley, McNeese
State University professor of art, will open Oct. 2
with a public reception from 7:30-9 p.m. in the
Abercrombie Gallery in the McNeese Shearman Fine
Arts Center.

The exhibit, "This Is the Way to the Museyroom," will
be on display through Oct. 24. The Abercrombie
Gallery is a non-profit gallery sponsored by the
McNeese Friends of the Visual Arts, a community
support group, and is open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday
through Friday. For more information, call the McNeese
Department of Visual Arts at 475-5060.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Girls Lean Back Everywhere

The book I ordered finally arrived today. “Girls
Lean Back Everywhere: The Law of Obscenity
and the Assault on Genius” by Edward de Grazia.
The title refers to a line from the case against Jane
Heap and Margaret Anderson, two American
publishers who were prosecuted in 1920 for
printing the Nausicaa Chapter (Gerty) in their
publication The Little Review.

“ Mr. Joyce was not teaching early Egyptian
perversions nor inventing new ones. Girls lean
back everywhere, showing lace and silk
stockings; wear low-cut sleeveless blouses,
breathless bathing suits; men think thoughts
and have emotions about these things every
where - seldom as delicately and imaginatively
as Mr. Bloom - and no one is corrupted.”
.............Jane Heap

Monday, September 22, 2003

The Honorable Woolsey

In honor of Banned Book Week, here are a few
excerpts from Judge Woolsey’s landmark
decision, written on December 6, 1933:

“...The motion for a decree dismissing the libel
herein is granted, and, consequently, of course,
the Government's motion for a decree of
forfeiture and destruction is denied......

... But 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

.... The words which are criticized as dirty are
old Saxon words known to almost all men and,
I venture, to many women, and are such words
as would be naturally and habitually used... In
respect of the recurrent emergence of the theme
of sex in the minds of his characters, it must
always be remembered that his locale was Celtic
and his season Spring....

.... I am quite aware that owing to some of its
scenes "Ulysses" is a rather strong draught to
ask some sensitive, though normal, persons to
take. But my considered opinion, after long
reflection, is that whilst in many places the effect
of "Ulysses" on the reader undoubtedly is some-
what emetic, nowhere does it tend to be an
aphrodisiac. "Ulysses" may, therefore, be
admitted into the United States.

United States District Judge”

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Happy Banned Books Week! This week runs
through September 27th. So kiss your copy
of Ulysses. Buy a banned book for someone
you love. Or hey, buy a challenged book
instead. There’s plenty of them out there.

First, here’s a definition of Challenged from
the American Library Association:

“A challenge is an attempt to remove
or restrict materials, based upon the
objections of a person or group. A
banning is the removal of those materials.
Challenges do not simply involve a person
expressing a point of view; rather, they are
an attempt to remove material from the
curriculum or library, thereby restricting
the access of others.”

Let’s see now there’s I Know Why the
Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
(Too sexually explicit; doesn't represent
traditional values.)

Or how about Moby Dick by Herman Melville
(Conflicts with values of the community.)

Or that nasty little number Little House in the
Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
(Racially offensive.)

And that’s just the tip if the iceberg. Here’s a
few highlights from the list of the Most
Challenged Books from 1990 - 2000:

6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
8. Forever by Judy Blume
16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
19. Sex by Madonna
25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
32. Blubber by Judy Blume
38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean George
40. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for
Girls: A Growing-Up Guide by Lynda Madaras
51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
55. Cujo by Stephen King
56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
62. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by
Judy Blume
88. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

Yeah, that Judy Blume makes James Joyce look pretty

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