James Joyce and the latest ROW80 Update

On 1 January, the published works of James Joyce came into the public domain. Apparently his grandson and only living relative, Stephen Joyce, used to keep a tight rein on all Joyce's works, but now that his published novels and stories are in the public domain, they can be (among other uses) freely quoted from.

If anyone knows, please tell me - can't executors of a literary estate keep 'buying' the copyright? That is, if Stephen Joyce was oh so controlling over his grandfather's estate, could he not have kept renewing the copyright?

I first read A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man in my early teens. I had a sweatshirt that featured Joyce and jokingly referred to Beckett going out in the middle of the night to get pizzas. Or something like that. Tried to Google it, but can't find the exact text, so here're Joyce and Sylvia Beach at Shakespeare & Company in Paris:

(image from Princeton Magazine)

Here's the lyrical opening to Portrait:
"Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming
down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road
met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo...

His father told him that story: his father looked at him through a
glass: he had a hairy face.

He was baby tuckoo. The moocow came down the road where Betty Byrne
lived: she sold lemon platt.

O, the wild rose blossoms
On the little green place.

He sang that song. That was his song.

O, the green wothe botheth."

Development on the Round of Words in 80 Days front is rather slow. I have about 15 missing scenes still to write but these, when I originally left them blank, covered more than one actual scene. So my notes say things like:

"add more between the ball and the expedition - there has to be a reason Ayten starts becoming attracted to Prince Cem..."


"does she rescue him at the end or do they work together?"

Not very helpful. I think, like it or not, I'm going to have to return to my waking-at-5am-to-write regimen. At least I get a latte when I do!


Suzanne Lilly said…
Hello, Deniz! I do believe that executors of an estate may renew the copyrights to works of the deceased. It sounds like you're in the "simmering pot" stage of your writing. If you only have 15 scenes left, it must be almost done, right? Good luck, and happy writing!
Nadja Notariani said…
Those rewards are ever-so-helpful, right? Ha! I'm right with you on the editing mess - and I shared in some of the pain/love today in my post. I'll think of you as I sort through my abundance of notes on those otherwise crisp, white pages.
Wendy Jane said…
Missing scenes are a problem. I have a habit of jumping around in my projects if I lock up at a certain spot. I now have a handful that I NEED to get back to and finish up. I've ended up using my dresser mirror as a great big story board. Now I can't ignore it.

Sounds like you are doing very well. Editing can be a lot of work. You're doing a great job!
Anonymous said…
I need to read Ulysses again.
S.P. Bowers said…
I've repressed Joyce. I don't really remember any of it though I've read a bunch of him.
Anonymous said…
I read Portrait long ago, but not his other works. I'll have to check out this public domain status, since I have many p.d. works on my Kindle.

Good luck with writing your scenes.
DL Hammons said…
Hey...you can never discount the value of a good latte! :)
Vicki Tremper said…
I say, whatever motivates you to write is a good thing. I somehow missed Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man even though it's on my dad's bookshelf and I remember looking at that spine throughout my childhood (and despite my father forcing me to read the classics during summer vacations). Maybe now's the perfect time to find it for my Kindle.
I have to admit I have not read James Joyce. He's on my list, but haven't gotten around to it. Shame on me. Now that I read the excerpt, I feel shamier.
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks so much, Suzanne!

And I'll think of you, Nadja!

I jump around a lot too, Wendy, and have to go back to plug in holes. Thanks for the support!

I did once, Joshua, and I don't think I'll try again any time soon...

I'd still recommend the short stories, Sara. And Portrait. But the other works...

Thanks Medeia and DL!

I hope you enjoy it, Vicki.

You could start with the short stories, Theresa. They really are short, and interesting.

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