LETTERS:Joyce's Ulysses was simply not for sale

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The Independent Online
From Mr Bernard McGinley Sir: Though James Joyce's Ulysses was never officially banned in Ireland (Letters, 16 January), his Stephen Hero certainly was.

The earlier novel, with its contempt for Catholic religiosity, thus joined a distinguished list of banned books that made Irish censorship a global laughing-stock into the 1970s.

As for Ulysses, it was so notorious that it was often not stocked by bookshops or libraries. Its treatment recalls the remark (in the second chapter) about Ireland having the honour of never persecuting the Jews - because Ireland never let them in.

Yours faithfully, BERNARD McGINLEY London, SE5

16 January

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