Thursday, June 10, 2010

Blythe before Bloomsday

Author Blythe Woolston must have read my mind (she tends to do this) before her recent blog post about Ulysses and censorship.

I make a habit of a halfhearted effort at rereading Ulysses every June 16. Well, I peruse more than re-read, I guess. I might dip in at File:Revolutionary Joyce.jpgLe0pold Bloom in his outhouse (shocking!) or maybe even Molly Bloom’s soliloquy(nowadays titillating only to scholars, I suspect), and if I do, I will chuckle that this book was at the center of a landmark indecency case 77 years ago. The idea of this book giving popular offense seems so quaint and silly now.

But I shouldn’t let the folly of censorship past make me giggle so much that I fail to be outraged at censorship present. (Look no farther than Liz Burn’s blog if you need an example.)

Thanks, Blythe, for the reminder. To paraphrase Judge Woolsey’s ruling on Ulysses, while the effect of censorship on readers undoubtedly is somewhat emetic, nowhere does it tend to be funny.


radio said...

Listen to Radio Bloomsday on Wed June 16th from 7pm - 2am EST. Charles Busch performs Bella Cohen and shits on Bloom (literally) and violates him with a cigar ala Bill Clinton. Molly's monologue starts at 11, I think what is shocking about is her command of her own sexuality. If you can, listen in and let us know what you think.

Blythe said...

1) I wish I could read your mind. I would be a lot smarter if I could.
2) Reading is sort of like reading someone's mind.
3) You, me, Joyce, Sendak, and the librarians. That's a mind...