Thursday, December 11, 2008

75 years of Ulysses (and beer)

This week (or perhaps last week; different sources say either 6 or 11 December) marks the 75th anniversary of the trial that eventually allowed Ulysses to be imported into the United States.  The trial, a landmark of sorts, judged that since the book had no pornographic intent (i.e. it did not intentionally "stir the sex impulses") it was not obscene.  This trial was also interesting in that it gave clearer guidelines on a legal definition of "obscene".  

Coincidentally, this week was also the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition.

As Morris Ernst, one of the lawyers involved in the case, said:
"The first week of December 1933 will go down in history for two repeals, that of Prohibition and that of the legal compulsion for squeamishness in literature... We may now imbibe freely of the contents of bottles and forthright books."

On that note, I will now open a beer and continue reading Ulysses (as soon as I can find the #$^*&#^ bottle opener).

1 comment:

Ελλάδα said...

lysses is one of those big, mad bellwethers of a book that X will tell you is the biggest, best, most important blah blah blah and Y will tell you is a load of badly written tripe. Neither X nor Y tend to notice that the book consciously encourages both responses...but, well, I'll get back to the academic riffing in a minute.