|Waiting for the trial to begin|
How It’s New York: In 1921, the obscenity trial over Ulysses took place in NYC. In 2012, the mock obscenity trial of “New York State vs. Anderson and Heap” also took place in NYC: in the Supreme Court Ceremonial Courtroom on Centre Street, courtesy of the Irish American Bar Association of New York.
How It’s Irish: James Joyce was Irish, though the publishers here were not. But the presentation was put on by the Irish-American NYC bar, and they brought in Justice Adrian Hardiman, of the Supreme Court of Ireland. Consul General Noel Kilkenny was also in attendance.
|Consul General Noel Kilkenny|
Justice Hardiman then delivered “the John Quinn Memorial Address,” titled “James Joyce – The Frustrated Lawyer.” Hardiman told us how the obscenity trial was really set up by the defendants, and how they had arranged for a copy of the chapter called “Cyclops” to be sent to the Head of NYC Prevention of Vice, “a very busy man I imagine,” said Hardiman.
It was quite fascinating to see that Joyce, along with many references to music, religion, food, also showed great detail about law: he included references to 32 court cases in the book. Hardiman said that 18 were criminal trials. There are also 11 named judges, with more unnamed; 13 barristers and 11 solicitors, “and lots and lots of life insurance policies. Joyce was fascinated by it, and that you could mortgage a life insurance policy.”
“The cases in the book are all doubtful cases, with guilt and innocence very finely balanced,” Hardiman pointed out. The case had been build on circumstantial evidence that evaporated in court. Joyce, Hardiman said, was “educated by Jesuits, and fascinated by epistomlogy, that is, you you know what you know.”
|Justice Adrian Hardiman|
Then, as O’Cathan said, it was “back to your dayjob” for Hardiman, who put on his black robe and prepared to preside.
“The society for the prevention of vice was founded to protect the public from corruption. When we ask what public, they invariably reply our young girls. So the mind of our young girls rule this country? Why is she given such representatives?” A photograph of senators, Heap wrote, was “a galaxy of noble manhood” that showed in its faces “where it had spat, and gossipped, and stolen prunes.”
Quinn: The U.S. Postal service, there’s an arbiter of taste.Cullen: Founded by Ben Franklin.
Quinn: who was quite filthy.
|The Cast of “New York State vs. Anderson and Heap”|
Copyright 2012 New York Irish Arts