James Joyce's Ulysses
Home > Ulysses – Later Editions
Ulysses. New York: Random House, 1934. First American edition. In a landmark decision dated December 6, 1933, Judge John M. Woolsey, United States District Judge, lifted the ban on Ulysses, declaring that "In Ulysses, in spite of its unusual frankness, I do not detect anywhere the leer of the sensualist. I hold, therefore, that it is not pornographic… Ulysses may therefore be admitted into the United States." The Random House edition took the unusual step of reprinting Judge Woolsey's complete decision, along with a letter from James Joyce to Bennett Cerf, head of Random House, tracing the history of his battle with the censors. The American edition also incorporated a new and memorable design feature which remained linked with the novel for many readers for years to come: the full-page "S" with which the novel opens.
Ulysses. London: John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1936. First edition printed and published in England. Of a total edition of 1000 numbered copies, this is one of 100 copies on mould-made paper, signed by Joyce. The appearance of this edition marked the official acceptance of the novel in Britain. It too reprints Judge Woolsey's American decision in full as an appendix, underlining the importance of that decision in the novel's history. The striking binding design is by Eric Gill; a copy of the edition of 900 copies bound in green linen is also displayed.
Ulysses. Hamburg: The Odyssey Press, 1932. Two volumes. The Shakespeare and Company Paris edition of Ulysses had been reprinted eleven times since 1922, with continued errors and errata lists. Now Sylvia Beach was ready to turn over the rights to some other publisher, particularly as both American and British editions were in the offing. In part as compensation, Joyce gave her the original manuscript of Stephen Hero, the early unpublished version of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. "And what rubbish it is!" he said. The Odyssey Press had the advantage of being corrected by Stuart Gilbert, and by the forth printing it offered the most accurate state of the text available to readers.
Odysseus. Stockholm: Bonniers, 1946. Translated into Swedish by Thomas Warburton; and Uliss. Västerås [Sweden]: Ziemelblazma, J. Abucs, 1960. Translated into Latvian by Dzintars Sodums. Ulysses has been translated into all the major languages of the world. Because it offers so many difficulties for the literary translator, it offers a rich field for comparative study. Displayed here are two of the many versions produced over the past decades. Prior to 1989, translations into languages falling within the orbit of the Soviet Union had to be printed abroad, as it the case with the Latvian version show here. Beginning in 1989, the first Russian translation appeared serially in Isvestiia; it first appeared in book form in 1993.
Ulysses. New York: The Limited Editions Club, 1935. With six original soft-ground etchings by Henri Matisse and twenty reproductions of preliminary drawings by Matisse. One of 1500 copies, signed by Matisse. The second copy, in a craft binding by James Brockman, is one of 250 copies signed by both Joyce and Matisse. Joyce was pleased that an artist of Matisse's stature was to illustrate Ulysses, but worried that the Frenchman might not be familiar enough with the Irish terrain to do the job. He attempted to have a friend in Ireland send the artist an illustrated weekly from Dublin around 1904. It is doubtful, however, that Matisse ever read the book, since he chose instead to depict six episodes from Homer's Odyssey.