Filed under: Publications
The House of Breathings has just announced the publication of a six-volume edition of the papers and notebooks for Ulysses held by the National Library of Ireland. Edited and annotated by Danis Rose, this collection includes several notebooks for Ulysses as well as drafts of some of the major episodes including “Cyclops,” “Sirens,” and “Circe” among others. Much (though not all) of this material came from the Alexis Léon papers purchased by the NLI in 2002. The individual volumes themselves are relatively expensive, ranging between $100 and $330 individually, or $1060 for the entire set.
Rose offers a detailed explanation for his decision to bring these notebooks out now including an extended comment on their copyright status. As he notes (and as JJQ’s Copyrights Editor recently pointed out to me), there is a strange wrinkle in EU copyright law: when a previously unpublished work enters the public domain, the first person to publish it gains a new copyright of twenty-five years in the material. This means that when these notebooks appear, Rose will own this EU copyright. (The provision and thus this copyright does not exist in US law.) After describing this situation, Rose writes that he wants to assure open access to these works and thus “I will make over to the Irish State such rights in the Joyce text in the Ulysses documents that I have acquired.” His own annotations and editorial matter, of course, are not covered by such a promised license.
We clearly find ourselves in exhilarating if uncertain times as Joyce’s published and unpublished works fall unevenly into a patchwork public domain that varies widely across national borders. For the moment, I happily greet the arrival of this publication and hope that all institutions and rights holders endeavor to make Joyce’s published and unpublished works widely available to a global audience of teachers, critics, scholars, and readers.
JJQ has requested review copies from the House of Breathings and hope to publish a full review essay as soon as we can.
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