Happy Bloomsday! Stanford University professor Carol Shloss marked the 102nd anniversary last week of the epic trek through Dublin by Stephen Bloom, hero of James Joyce's Ulysses, by filing a lawsuit. She accuses Joyce's estate and its agent, his grandson Stephen Joyce, of intimidating her and unfairly preventing her from quoting Joyce's writings and family records for her 2003 book about Joyce's daughter Lucia.
The case--a shy, bookish David against the brash, moneyed heir to a literary Goliath--could affect many scholars. U.S. copyright law can allow them to quote from sources for research, but Stephen Joyce says the law's scope is narrow. Shloss's attorney, fellow Stanford prof Lawrence Lessig, disagrees. He's working to protect scholars from aggressive tactics like Joyce's. Shloss says she just wants to guard her livelihood: "Why have writers and professors if we can't do our jobs?"