Carol Loeb Shloss: Wins right to cite Joyce letters

Historians in the News

A Stanford legal team prevailed in its battle against the estate of Irish writer James Joyce, gaining the right for an English professor to publish family correspondence, notebooks and a manuscript containing a description of dreams by his troubled daughter, Lucia Joyce.

But the Joyce Estate fended off a broader legal and philosophical challenge to copyright law and avoided a sweeping concession to make Joyce's works available to other scholars.

Joyce's fiercely protective grandson Stephen James Joyce and the Joyce Estate agreed to a settlement in a closely watched legal case that explored whether a long-dead artist's works belong to the public or his descendants.

The agreement, reached March 16, allows Stanford professor Carol Loeb Shloss to publish specific materials electronically on her Web site and in a printed supplement or new edition of her 2003 book "Lucia Joyce: To Dance in the Wake."

Shloss began seeking the materials 16 years ago - and when rebuffed by Stephen Joyce, was forced to publish her book without them.

She sought the writings to support her thesis that Lucia Joyce, who was born in a pauper's ward and died in a mental institution, was the sane, creative and dark muse behind the masterpiece "Finnegan's Wake." Without the materials, her book was criticized for being thin on documentary evidence....
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