James Joyce–and American Healthcare Debate? by jjqblog
March 9, 2012, 10:56 AM
Filed under: Uncategorized

James Joyce is apparently making his way into the American debate about healthcare.  In a decision handed down from the Unites States District Court for the District of Columbia (Catholic Health Services Initiative–Iowa Corp. v. Kathleen Sebelius), Chief Judge Royce Lambeth decried the impossible density of the legal prose he had been asked to interpret.  “Picture a law,” he writes at the start of a nineteen-page decision, “written by James Joyce and edited by E.E. Cummings.  Such is Medicare statute.”  Helpfully, he provides a footnote for the Joyce reference: “The Court clarifies, however, that by making this analogy, it is referring not to Joyce’s early work, such as Dubliners or Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, but his later period, specifically Finnegans Wake.”  He apparently reserves judgment on Ulysses, saying nothing about the garbled legal prose at the start of “Cyclops.”


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