">Name: James Joyce's "Ulysses"
Artist: James Joyce|
Confronting Bodies: US Post Office, New York Society for the Suppression of Vice the British Director of Public Prosecutions, and British customs officials.
Date of Action: 1920 - 1933
Specific Location: Great Britain and the United States
Description of Artwork: "Ulysses" is an 18 chapter book in which each chapter represents about one hour in the course of a day and reflects a chapter in the Odyssey. The story follows an ordinary day in Dublin and touches upon obscene points such as urination and masturbation. Due to each part being written in a different style and having different themes associated with it, the story seems very disjointed. This is why court cases against the book were limited to certain chapters, making it difficult for lawyers to defend the obscenities by linking them to the story as a whole.
The trial scared off any potential publishers and printers who saw it as filth, but eventually Joyce had the book released in France. However, Joyce still found resistance to it in English speaking countries. The US Post Office held any copies of the book it found and had them burned. British customs officials also confiscated it and had it sent to the Home Office for examining. In 1922, the Director of Public Prosecution deemed it indecent and ordered that customs not let the book get through to Britain. He made this decision having read only 40 pages.
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