Finnegans Wake Piracy
[JOYCE, James] ed. ROTH, Samuel

Two Worlds

New York: At the Sign of the Mocki-Grisball, 1925-6

Small 4tos, lettered in red and black to front panels and spines. Original black slipcases. Inked initials to front panel of Nos. 1, 3 and 4, chip to spine of No. 1, otherwise near fine copies with only a little age-toning, well preserved in their slipcases.

First US editions. Containing the first US publication (unauthorised) of extracts from Finnegans Wake.

Four (of five) issues of Samuel Roth's Two Worlds to carry extracts from Joyce's work in progress. Despite protests from Joyce, made via his Paris publisher Sylvia Beach, Roth went on to add insult to injury by publishing extracts from Ulysses in the same magazine, again without authorisation. This led to the International Protest, signed by 167 artists and writers and published in transition in 1927, and an injuction against Roth was finally issued in 1928. Periods of incarceration followed for Roth, mostly for publishing pornography (literary or otherwise). A hugely antagonistic figure in the world of letters, he was nonetheless responsible for the easing of US obscenity laws when Roth v. United States was heard by the Supreme Court in 1957, which decided that the 'likely to deprave and corrupt' test for questionable material was too widely drawn, and that the law would henceforth take into account whether 'the dominant theme taken as a whole appeals to the prurient interest...'. All of which was neither here nor there for James Joyce, who received no royalties from this piracy.

Near fine copies, very well preserved in their slipcases.

Tax amount
Price / kg: