Wednesday, July 14, 2004

"Why Joyce’s Words are for Nora’s Eyes Only" is
the title of an interesting commentary in the
Observer by Stephanie Merritt. There’s an
excerpt below or you can read the entire thing

"...But I do feel instinctive guilt about wanting to
read the erotic letter written by James Joyce to
Nora Barnacle in 1909 and sold last week at
Sotheby's for £240,800.

It's a hypothetical guilt, since I can't read it;
the anonymous buyer is apparently hobbled
by all manner of clauses regarding publication
or disclosure of its contents, established by
Joyce's grandson, Stephen. He holds copyright
to his works and tried to oppose the sale
because, according to Stephen's wife, these
were private letters which 'have no literary or
historical significance'."

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