Leave it to my hands

When the honorable Judge John M. Woolsey absolved Ulysses of pornographic intent, finding that it seeks to accurately represent human consciousness ("his locale," after all, "was Celtic and his season Spring") and that "nowhere does it tend to be an aphrodisiac," he charitably overlooked certain steamy passages of narration. One of the most egregious occurs in Sirens: "On the smooth jutting beerpull laid Lydia hand, lightly, plumply, leave it to my hands. All lost in pity for croppy. Fro, to: to, fro: over the polished knob (she knows his eyes, my eyes, her eyes) her thumb and finger passed in pity: passed, repassed and, gently touching, then slid so smoothly, slowly down, a cool firm white enamel baton protruding through their sliding ring." This is pretty good pornographic writing—suggestive of graphic action, not merely suggestive or merely graphic; evocative of various kinds of physical pleasure, emotional involvement, and desire; palatable to both genders.

JH 2020

Bronze by Gold, Richard Hamilton's 1987 engraving and aquatint print (five plates, 23 colors). Source: Hamilton, Imaging James Joyce's Ulysses.