CULTURE RE-VIEW: James Joyce's “Ulysses” is ruled not obscene

First edition of "Ulysses" - one750 numbered copies
First edition of "Ulysses" - one750 numbered copies   -   Copyright  State Library of New South Wales
By David Mouriquand

6 December 1933: “Ulysses” is ruled not obscene.

Federal judge John M. Woolsey ruled that "Ulysses" by James Joyce was not obscene.

The book had been banned in both the US and UK when it came out in 1922, published by Sylvia Beach, the owner of the bookstore Shakespeare and Co. in Paris.

It used coarse language, but the trial court’s decision confirmed that was not pornographic and therefore could be published and admitted into the US.

The novel’s radical stream-of-consciousness narrative influenced the development of the modern novel and Woolsey’s verdict has gone down in history as an affirmation of literary free expression.

State Library of New South Wales
Photograph of a first edition, 1st printing of the book Ulysses by James Joyce, published by Paris-Shakespeare, 1922. No. 302 of a limited edition of 1000 numbered copiesState Library of New South Wales

Also on this day:

Getty Images
Raytheon developed the first microwave ovenGetty Images

Today is National Microwave Oven Day.

Don't get too excited.

No one is quite sure when the holiday was first founded, but for some added trivia, the first microwave was built in 1947 by Percy Spencer. It was about six feet tall and cost $5,000. The company Raytheon developed the first microwave oven, and the company’s Radarange III (above) debuted in 1955 and was sold in limited quantities to restaurants.

Apparently, the countries with the highest levels of microwave ownership are Spain, Canada, South Africa, and the US.

Now you know.