Addicted to novelty since 2001

James Joyce’s Grandson Sounds Like a Nutter

I’m in the middle of reading an interesting profile in The New Yorker. It’s concerned with Stephen James Joyce (he always insists, apparently, that his middle name be included), and his manic protectionism of the Joyce literary estate:

More than a dozen Joyce scholars told me that what was once an area of exploration and discovery now resembles an embattled outpost of copyright law. Robert Spoo, who used to edit the James Joyce Quarterly, which is published by the University of Tulsa, quit the job to become a copyright lawyer. “New biographies, digital representations of Joyce’s work, analyses of Joyce’s manuscripts, and, to a lesser extent, criticism—they hardly exist,” he said. “People either despaired of doing them . . . or the demands were so high that they just didn’t feel it was worth continuing the discussions.”

That’s kind of tragic. Not end of the world tragic, because literary analysis isn’t likely to feature in armageddon, but it’s still pretty wrong. The Beckett estate is also notoriously protective of Sam’s legacy. Is it something do with being Irish?

3 Responses to “James Joyce’s Grandson Sounds Like a Nutter”

  1. magus_dee

    Big ups for this’n. Mr. Stephen JAMES Joyce came across as obviously “tetched,” and not in a good way. From my position of recline on the futon whilst reading the piece, I emitted forth various growls, hisses, and imprecations. So I was quite glad to see someone else a bit disturbed by this wack nutter, and am happy to tie in the point that children and grandchildren of privilege, awash in a sea of monies they had naught to do with acquiring, most generally fit the same mold as Mr. Stephen JAMES Joyce, viz., They were all born on third base and labor under the illusion that they personally just tripled.

  2. Stephen James Joyce

    47 years ago my mother had me baptized Stephen after the first martyr for Christianity (she was a devote Christian), James, after the minister who was splashing the water on my head. My surname is Joyce and for 47 years I have carried around Stephen James Joyce as my full legal name. It only occasionally prompted people to ask “Oh are related to James Joyce?”

    That was before I published a book. ‘Teaching an Anthill to Fetch: Developing Collaborative Intelligence @ Work’ was an unintentional joke, that James himself would probably have found funny. My book is about ‘collaborative intelligence’ and takes the stand that knowledge can not be owned any more than the sun can. To that end I published ‘Teaching an Anthill to Fetch’ under a creative commons license. My web site http://www.StephenJamesJoyce.com has been created with Joomla! (Open Source) software and when I speak in public about the book I make the point that there are no IP lawyers to be found in a bacteria colony.

    I am not trying to be clever (although the tagline for my book is ‘Let’s Get Clever Together’). I am trying to spread the debate about knowledge, evolution and the importance of collective intelligence in a hyper linked world. It was pure accident that seems to have placed me at the seemly opposite end of a rather interesting debate about how the work of one of literatures’’ most famously talented authors was being used.

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