Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Author: Steve Pinkerton

7 blasphemous books of the 1920s: James Joyce’s birthday list

James Joyce had a thing about birthdays. With some difficulty, he contrived to have Ulysses published on his 40th birthday, and to receive the first copy of Finnegans Wake just in time for his 57th birthday. The day itself was typically crowned by a gala dinner party; at his 50th birthday, he was presented with a big blue cake, decorated as a copy of Ulysses—which moved the author to intone, in the language of the Catholic Mass: Accipite et manducate ex hoc omnes: Hoc est enim corpus meum.

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