Why Sylvia Beach &
To make a long history short, this
first edition was sold
recently to a record price of £275000,00 or US$416000,00, "the
highest price recorded for a 20th-century first edition."
As you can read there and I quote:
Joyce's vast novel was met with
bafflement and anger when it was first published in 1922 with one reviewer complaining
that it "appears to have been written by a perverted lunatic who has made
a speciality of the literature of the latrine".
The more salacious bits are in the last episode, where Molly Bloom's long stream-of-consciousness
soliloquy ends in her orgasmic "yes I said yes I will Yes".
This first edition is unopened apart from that last episode. The copy
is number 45 of the first 100 and is printed on fine Dutch handmade paper.
The dealer who made the sale, Pom Harrington, said the book was one of only
four copies of that first edition print run, all signed by Joyce, which had
been unaccounted for. "In terms of collectability, Ulysses is considered
to be the number one 20th-century book. This is such a find and it is in such
fabulous, pristine condition."
All the basic elements that propelled
Joyce to his stardom can be spotted:
First and most of all, the prohibition
was its biggest marketing device and it is impossible to think something that
might do it better. And it was free...
The Molly Bloom monologue, which
contained the "naughty bits" and the reversion of the attitude of
the woman, which in the original Ulysses became an archetypical exmple of a
faithfull wife broke a long and standardizes tradition and was sort of profecy
to what was about to hapen to the morals of the 20th century...
Third, it is unreadable, better yet,
only by the initiated, which are supposed to be sharper than the average mediocre
person out there in the crowd. Even if you don't read it, to have one might
get you a ticket to this special club...
Las, but not least, ie effectively
is one of the most sophisticated examples of the use of the printed word in