James Joyce transformed the modern novel. The 1922 publication of the stream-of-conscious Ulysses was a cause célèbre, prompting a ban on the work for its explicit descriptions of sex. Contentious court battles followed after the New York Vice Society wagged its moral finger and the publishers were sued for distributing “obscene” material. The book was smuggled into countries like heroin. A grueling four-year court case ensued, finally vindicating Joyce’s genius. The ban against Ulysses was lifted in 1934.
Here’s an excerpt:
Ines told me that one drop even if it got into you at all after I tried with the Banana but I was afraid it might break and get lost up in me somewhere because they once took something down out of a woman that was up there for years covered with limesalts theyre all mad to get in there where they come out of youd think they could never go far enough up and then theyre done with you in a way till the next times yes because theres a wonderful feeling there so tender all the time how did we finish it off yes O yes I pulled him off into my handkerchief pretending not to be excited but I opened my legs I wouldn’t let him touch me inside my petticoat because I had a skirt opening up the side I tormented the life out of him first tickling him I loved rousing that dog in the hotel rrrssssttawokwokawok his eyes shut and a bird flying below us he was shy all the same I liked him like that moaning I made him blush a little I got over him that way when I unbuttoned him and took his out and drew back the skin it had a kind of eye in it theyre all Buttons down the middle on the wrong side of them Molly darling he called me what was his name Jack Joe Harry Mulvey was it yes… — Molly Bloom
James Joyce was a colossal talent. He also wrote exceptional dirty love letters to his muse and wife Nora Barnacle.
James Joyce to Nora Barnacle
Dublin 2 December 1909
“My love for you allows me to pray to the spirit of eternal beauty and tenderness mirrored in your eyes or fling you down under me on that softy belly of yours and fuck you up behind, like a hog riding a sow, glorying in the very stink and sweat that rises from your arse, glorying in the open shape of your upturned dress and white girlish drawers and in the confusion of your flushed cheeks and tangled hair. It allows me to burst into tears of pity and love at some slight word, to tremble with love for you at the sounding of some chord or cadence of music or to lie heads and tails with you feeling your fingers fondling and tickling my ballocks or stuck up in me behind and your hot lips sucking off my cock while my head is wedged in between your fat thighs, my hands clutching the round cushions of your bum and my tongue licking ravenously up your rank red cunt. I have taught you almost to swoon at the hearing of my voice singing or murmuring to your soul the passion and sorrow and mystery of life and at the same time have taught you to make filthy signs to me with your lips and tongue, to provoke me by obscene touches and noises, and even to do in my presence the most shameful and filthy act of the body. You remember the day you pulled up your clothes and let me lie under you looking up at you while you did it? Then you were ashamed even to meet my eyes.
You are mine, darling, mine! I love you. All I have written above is only a moment or two of brutal madness. The last drop of seed has hardly been squirted up your cunt before it is over and my true love for you, the love of my verses, the love of my eyes for your strange luring eyes, comes blowing over my soul like a wind of spices. My prick is still hot and stiff and quivering from the last brutal drive it has given you when a faint hymn is heard rising in tender pitiful worship of you from the dim cloisters of my heart.
Nora, my faithful darling, my sweet-eyed blackguard schoolgirl, be my whore, my mistress, as much as you like (my little frigging mistress! My little fucking whore!) you are always my beautiful wild flower of the hedges, my dark-blue rain-drenched flower.”