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The Ithys Press of Dublin has just published a little-known story by Joyce entitled “The Cats of Copenhagen” in a fine press edition. (Very fine, actually: the cheapest copy available coming in at €300.) This short work of fiction was written in a letter to Joyce’s grandson Stephen in 1936 and found amid the large amount of material given by Hans Jahnke to the Zurich James Joyce Foundation in 2005.
As the Irish Times reports, however, the publication has been met with significant protest by the Foundation. Its Director, Frtiz Senn, has written that “the Zürich James Joyce Foundation was left completely in the dark, it never permitted, tolerated, condoned or connived at this publication, and it rigidly dissociates itself from it.” A response from the Ithys Press arguing that no permission was necessary appears on their site.
Although the story might be in the public domain in some jurisdictions, the dispute nevertheless reveals the difficulties and tensions that continue to attend the questions of ownership and intellectual property that still bedevil Joyce’s work. No doubt as the post-copyrightgold rush on Joycean archive begins, further such disputes will arise.