When Andi first proposed the idea of reading through Modern’s list of the top 100 books of the 20th century, I was up for it with one request – that we start at number one to work through the list, not at one hundred to work backwards. That is, until I read through the list and saw that the first one was Ulysses, a book I’ve never read by an author I’ve never read, and a tome of 768 pages at that!
But after reading the forward, written by Morris Ernst, James Joyce’s lawyer, I’m a bit more excited. This book had to go through the United States district court on a charge of obscenity before it could even be published in the United States. I’m interested to see what was considered obscene at the time, and thrilled that the judge cleared it from the charge so that it could be published.
Mr. Ernst states that December 1933 brought down the book censors with this court decision and the repeal of prohibition. “At any rate,” he states, “we may now imbibe freely of the contents of bottles and forthright books”.
Let’s pour a glass of wine and jump in!