Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How to Enjoy James Joyce

In 1933, Random House challenged the obscenity ban on James Joyce's Ulysses. The controversial novel had been available since 1922 from Sylvia Beach's Shakespeare and Co. bookshop in Paris, but banned in the United States. The celebrated obscenity case was decided in December of 1933. Random House capitalized on the book's notoriety by issuing the first U.S. edition in January of 1934.

Fearful that readers would be intimidated by Joyce's "obscure" text, they provided booksellers with a handy flyer entitled "How to Enjoy James Joyce's Ulysses." It promised that the book's "thrilling" adventure would be neither "difficult to read" nor "harder to 'understand' than any other great classic." The advertising campaign combined with the book's salacious reputation to make Ulysses a best seller for Random House.

You can see the flyer by asking for Rare PR6019.O9U4 H6 1934.  For the 1922 Paris edition, with the original prospectus laid in, ask for Val 827 J853 X71.

3 comments :

  1. Hi, How can I get a photocopy or buy one of this? I just started Ulysses, 1922 ├ędition, brocantes111@gmail.com Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Madeleine,

    We'll send you a pdf later this week. I hope you "Enjoy" it!

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  3. Thank you so much. I have received it already. Thanks

    ReplyDelete