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‘Ulysses’ on Trial

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‘Ulysses’ on Trial
It was a setup: a stratagem worthy of wily Ulysses himself. The conspirators were Bennett Cerf, publisher and cofounder of Random House, and Morris Ernst, a cofounder of the ACLU and its chief legal counsel. The target was United States anti-obscenity law. The bait was a single copy of an English-language novel, printed in Dijon by Frenchmen who could not understand a word of it, bound in bright blue boards, and sold mail-order by the celebrated Paris bookshop Shakespeare and Company. When Cerf and Ernst first began to conspire in 1931, the novel, James Joyce’s Ulysses, was the most notorious...
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