and yes I said yes I will Yes.

The last chapter of Ulysses ends with Molly’s words as she reminisces about the passion of her first sexual encounter with Bloom. The episode both begins and ends with “yes” , a word Joyce describes as a female word which indicates acquiescence and the end of all resistance. In 1921, Joyce noted that “after all the torment, after all the troubles of the day “ he wanted to end Ulysses on “the most positive word in the English language”.

“my God after that long kiss I near lost my breath yes he said I was a flower of the mountain yes …and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gibraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.”

James Joyce “Ulysses”

For over ten years after its publication in Paris in 1922, James Joyce’s Ulysses, was banned in the United States on grounds of obscenity. Throughout the years of the novel’s creation, Joyce was repeatedly challenged by those who would keep America free of “smut.” His friend Ezra Pound, even went so far as to delete some passages—without Joyce’s permission—when chapters of the unfinished novel were published serially in The Little Review. Four issues of the magazine were seized and burned by the U.S. Post Office anyway. In 1920 the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice filed a legal complaint against Chapter 13, Nausikaa, in which the book’s hero masturbates while observing at a distance the flirtations of a young girl during a fireworks demonstration. This episode had also appeared in the July-August 1920 issue of The Little Review. The magazine’s publisher, Margaret Anderson, and her co-editor, Jane Heap, were found guilty during the ensuing trial in 1921, fined, and prohibited from publishing any further episodes of Ulysses. All these difficulties, as well as printers who refused to set the book’s type, contributed to Joyce’s decision to allow Sylvia Beach, a bookshop owner in Paris,to publish the novel in an extremely small edition in 1922. She continued to release successive editions throughout the 1920’s—at a loss—and the book remained banned in the United States. In 1934, Morris Ernst of RANDOM HOUSE succeeded in bringing out the first American Edition of Ulysses.


*(From the Online Biographical Encyclopedia)

Born in Ireland, in 1882, Joyce was one of the most radical innovators of 20th century writing and dedicated himself to the exuberant exploration of the resources of language. All his life, he would be involved in a struggle with dire poverty and he lived largely on the gifts of patrons. When benefactions from admirers began to reach him, a good deal of the money was spent in the best restaurants of Paris. But these indulgences went along with a life of unremitting labor as he was a dedicated artist of the first order. He married Nora Barnacle, who became the mother of his son and daughter. She had little education and no understanding of Joyce’s work, but their domestic life was a happy one. His eyesight deteriorated progressively. This, plus the great difficulties of printing and proofreading his often strange and fantastic writings, made him peculiarly dependent on the assistance of devoted friends. He died in Zurich in 1941.


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