S4 BONUS Fecundshite: Joyce ‘Ulysses’ (1922)

James Joyce went way beyond smut when he wrote Ulysses, an epic modernist masterpiece. The censorship history of Ulysses is as mind boggling as the author’s bloody-minded determination to offend. In a bizarre twist, this filthy book was never banned in Ireland.

Cover of the first edition

S4 E10 Unsuitable for Irish: bold books as Gaeilge

The scrutiny of the censor was confined to the English language. But works in Irish, the other language of the state, were also censored by editors, bureaucrats and catholic reactionaries. No language was allowed to explore scandalous ‘sex feelings’.

S4 E4 Torrid trash: Wheatley ‘To the Devil a Daughter’ (1953)

I had a lot of fun trashing this book with Cian from Wide Atlantic Weird podcast. Wheatley was a reactionary old racist who sold millions of books over a 40 year career. His influence on popular culture is probably underestimated. Partly thanks to him, naked women, candles and goat heads are visual short-hand for Satanism.

A cover from the 70’s, the famed ‘Tit’s Edition’

Season 4 Begins 7 January 2021!

Here’s the episode list which ranges from the bizarre to the historically weighty. And yes, the censors were still banning in 1992.

Madonna, Sex (1992): banned after it sold out…

Anon, The Lustful Turk (1828): proper porn with a lot of racist tropes.

Margaret Mead, Growing up in Samoa (1928): scholarly but smutty.

Denis Wheatley, To the Devil, a Daughter (1953): time for more Satanism!

Radclyffe Hall, The Well of Loneliness (1928): a queer text whose author scandalized London.

Thorne Smith, The Passionate Witch (1941): phallocentric fluffy smut.

Kate O’Brien, The Land of Spices (1941): a remarkably beautiful book offering powerful critiques of nationalism and religion in Ireland

John McGahern, Deep Dive Part One: The Dark (1965) : a book that reformed the censorship law deserves proper scrutiny.

John McGahern, Deep Dive Part Two: The Dark (1965)

The Irish language episode: still thinking about which book…

BONUS Joyce, ‘Ulysses’ (1922): banned almost everywhere *except* Ireland