James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ Censored Again — This Time By Apple

Definitely interesting, considering the publication history of this book (it was banned in the United States for over 10 years). Nick Spence writes on Macworld UK:

A comic book adaptation of James Joyce’s notoriously challenging epic Ulysses is now available on the App Store, but only after Apple demanded cuts.

Rob Berry and Josh Levitas launched the ambitious webcomic version of the classic novel, one of the most important works of Modernist literature, earlier this year under the title Ulysses Seen. The comic includes only cartoon nudity, which the pair had to remove before Apple would approve the app.

Ulysses Seen

“Apple has strict guidelines and a rating system to prevent ‘adult content.’ Their highest mature content rating is 17+, which doesn’t seem to be a problem since no one reads Ulysses at sixteen anyway. But their guidelines also mean no nudity whatsoever. Which is something we never planned for,” Berry told Robot 6.

Joyce’s novel is pretty explicit in its language and themes, so much so that in 1932 it won one of the most important court decisions about censorship in American history,” Berry continued. In 1920 after the magazine The Little Review serialized a passage from Ulysses dealing with the main character masturbating, the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice helped get the book banned in the U.S. for more than 10 years. Eventually, following United States v. One Book Called Ulysses, U.S. District Judge John M. Woolsey ruled in 1933 that the book was not pornographic and therefore could not be obscene, with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirming the ruling in 1934.

Read More: Macworld UK

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  • J Brown

    Sad as this sounds, prudishness in this country is so common it's difficult to work up outrage over it anymore. I'll be checking it out through the website and avoiding the app, obviously. It makes me wonder if they would do the same for other works with questionable language (Mark Twain, etc), were they to receive the same adaptative treatment, or if they draw the line only at the naked body.

    If anyone's interested in reading Ulysses on an Apple product (and on the cheap, to boot) in a non-visual format it's available as a free text download (via Project Gutenberg) through iBooks, along with several other classic works.

    • tonyviner

      It seems like it wouldn't be much different from anything else. The line always seems to be drawn at the human body or sexuality. Language only seems to be a problem at Wal-Mart, where they sell violent video games and movies, not to mention actual guns, but demand any music they sell be edited. As with most things of this nature I feel confident saying that we can probably point to the religious Right for a lot of this quasi-censorship, though there are quite a few on the Left that are pretty prudish as well.

  • Mollygray

    Hi everyone….

    It makes me wonder if they would do the same for other works with questionable language, were they to receive the same adaptative treatment….
    It seems that you've put a great amount of time into your article and I want a lot more of these on the internet these days. Well, anyways… it certainly was very informative for me.

    puzzle bubble shooter

  • emperorreagan

    This is why I won't buy Apple products.

    I don't want some dick gatekeeper telling me what content is OK for me to view.

  • http://twitter.com/TylerBass Tyler Bass

    When asked if his so-called computing revolution represented freedom, Steve Jobs said among other things, “Freedom from porn . . . The times they are a changin’, and some traditional PC folks might feel like their world is slipping away. It is.”

    You’re free. From the horrifying sight of sex. And freedom is beautiful.

    I remember a few years ago, the anarchist group Crimethinc was even suggesting in its literature that members buy Apple computers if they have to own a computer at all. Crimethinc wouldn’t say that now, but Apple is willing to fleece the last bit of its former counterculture image for everything they can. They’re getting huge jollies selling over-priced, locked-down systems for morons.

  • http://twitter.com/TylerBass Tyler Bass

    When asked if his so-called computing revolution represented freedom, Steve Jobs said among other things, “Freedom from porn . . . The times they are a changin', and some traditional PC folks might feel like their world is slipping away. It is.”

    You're free. From the horrifying sight of sex. And freedom is beautiful.

    I remember a few years ago, the anarchist group Crimethinc was even suggesting in its literature that members buy Apple computers if they have to own a computer at all. Crimethinc wouldn't say that now, but Apple is willing to fleece the last bit of its former counterculture image for everything they can. They're getting huge jollies selling over-priced, locked-down systems for morons.

  • Pingback: Diciembre 6 (1933): Vindicación de Ulises | Emilio Ichikawa()

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