The great Irish author James Joyce died in 1941, and seventy years later, on January 1, 2012, his work has finally been set free from copyright restrictions, moving into the public domain. Notes the L.A. Times:
When the first day of 2012 dawned, the works of James Joyce moved into the public domain — for the most part. Joyce’s grandson Stephen, his only living relative, has long been thought to have been more of a hindrance than a help in terms of managing Joyce’s estate. Stephen charged high fees, refused scholars the right to quote from Joyce’s work and shut down the Irish government’s planned public readings of the centenary of “Ulysses” when he threatened litigation.
Joyce’s work now belongs to the people.
A hoodenwinkle gave the signal and a blessing paper freed the flood.
Which is why this post has been interlaced with free quotes from Joyce’s last great work, Finnegans Wake. Because Joyce’s great works have been yearning to escape the clutches of his heir.
Ho hang! Hang ho! And the clash of our cries till we spring to be free.
And now, finally, they are free.
Hulp, hulp, huzzars! Raise ras tryracy! Freetime’s free! Up Lancesters! Anathem!
Time to celebrate.
And they all drank free. For one man in his armour was a fat match always for any girls under shurts.
The old laws are gone! Clap your hands, stomp your feet,
Fly your balloons, dannies and dennises! He’s doorknobs dead! And Annie Delap is free! Ones more.
There’s no going back now.
Its pith is full. The way is free. Their lot is cast. So, to john for a john, johnajeams, led it be!
It will be great to see Joyce’s work spread out into the world, get remixed and adapted, his words washing over the world.
That’s how our oxyggent has gotten ahold of half their world. Moving about in the free of the air and mixing with the ruck.
The world reJoyces, the heir can err no longer. Here comes Sunny Jim.
Been so free! Thank you, besters! Hattentats have mindered. Blaublaze devil bobs have gone from the mode and hairtrigger nicks are quite out of time now.
Even Kate Bush is now free to record her song, “Flower of the Mountain,” as originally intended.
Tiss! Two pretty mistletots ribboned to a tree, up rose liberator and, fancy, they were free!
Feels good, doesn’t it?
O what a loovely freespeech ’twas (tep) to gar howalively hintergrunting!
[For reference, here are the “page.line” numbers for each of the passages from Finnegans Wake quoted above: A hoodenwinkle, 78.23; Ho hang!, 627.32; Hulp, hulp, huzzars, 348.28; And they all, 23.8; Fly your balloons, FW 378.2; Its pith is full, 399.33; That’s how, 281.25; Been so free!, 540.28; Tiss!, 588.36; O what, 273.19.]
See also: James Joyce Reading Finnegans Wake.