Print anything now

Reading a short story as he sits on the toilet, Bloom thinks that they will "Print anything now." No doubt he intends this as a comment on the quality of stuff published in Titbits, and his creator is probably casting a sly glance at the deliberately bad story he wrote while in school and had a friend submit to that periodical. But Joyce must also have been thinking of the monster novel he was hoping to unleash on the world. Never before had literary art featured a detailed and sympathetic account of defecation. Joyce ardently believed that all parts of human experience were fit to write about, but this choice endangered his chances of publication, since powerful forces were arrayed to suppress the printing of obscene things.

John Hunt 2022

1922 photograph of Sylvia Beach and James Joyce seated in Beach's bookshop. Source:

Alvin Langdon Coburn's 1913 photograph of Ezra Pound, used as the frontispiece of Lustra (1916). Source: Wikimedia Commons.


Photograph of Morris Ernst (holding a book, at left), the man who successfully challenged the U.S. ban on Ulysses in 1932 and 1933, appearing in court on behalf of Gustave Flaubert's novella November in 1935. Source:

Jerry, a 1931 painting by Paul Cadmus of his lover Jerry French reading the first edition of the purportedly obscene Ulysses in bed. Source: