Happy Bloomsday! As fans of James Joyce’s experimental novel will know, Ulysses is set on June 16, 1904. Accordingly, the 16th of June has become an annual occasion for readers around the globe to celebrate Joyce and commemorate (often with marathon public readings) Leopold Bloom’s fictional wanderings through Dublin.
In honor of Bloomsday 2012, we’ve posted a few Ulysses-related “firsts” from the Library’s James F. Spoerri Collection of James Joyce (one of our three major Irish Collections). It consists of over 900 volumes by and about Joyce, including first editions of all of the writer’s works with the exception of five minor items.
First Printing of an Episode from Ulysses
The Little Review. Vol. IV (misprinted as Vol. V), no. 11 (March 1918).
Call number: Joyce Y166. (Click on image to enlarge.)
Episodes from Ulysses first appeared serially in The Little Review, an American “little magazine” then based in New York. Twenty-three installments–covering 13 episodes as well as the beginning of episode 14–came out between March 1918 and December 1920. Though experimental literary circles fêted the work, the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice was less impressed. It brought the serialization to a halt by initiating obscenity charges over the events depicted in the “Nausicaa” episode. Read the rest of this entry »