Why is this woman smiling? Carol Shloss, a year after the James Joyce lawsuit


Why is this woman smiling? Click last year’s video to find out.

There is indeed life after lawsuit – although you may not believe it while the ordeal staggers on,  sucking the life out of everything around you.  Carol Shloss successfully slayed the notorious James Joyce Estate dragon last year.  So I had dinner with her last week to learn her latest ventures in her post-lawsuit life, and they are legion.

At the California Café, over gnocchi (for me), crab (for her), and a nice Ravenswood Zinfadel for both of us,  she told me she is negotiating a contract to edit The Collected Unpublished Letters of James Joyce for Oxford University Press. Asking for trouble?  Not likely.  The Joyce oeuvre at last lurches into public domain next year.

Carol is also busily working on Treason’s Child: Mary de Rachewiltz and the Real Estate of Ezra Pound The book will be the second volume of a projected trilogy.  (The first was the disputed 2003 Lucia Joyce: To Dance in the Wake about James Joyce’s daughter; the third will consider Anna Freud.)

Still smiling ... (Photo: L.A. Cicero)

That’s not all.  She’s also heading “The Stanford Finnegans Wake Visualization Project,” which involves computer graphing of 62 languages in the Wake.  She laid the groundwork for the project with a Modern Language Association presentation two years ago, and also spoke on “Geological Computer Tools in the Mapping of Joyce’s Texts” in Tours, France, about the same time.  With the project, she’s treating the layers of language in the book as if they were layers of the earth and its atmosphere.  I don’t quite understand  it … maybe it was the wine…

Meanwhile, at the Addison, Maine, cottage where she spent the summer and early fall, she also launched a project to teach some of the local disadvantaged kids via graphic novels.  We outline a little about how that works here. “In the university, graphic novels are trendy,” she said.  “In rural Maine, they help to overcome resistance to literacy for kids who can’t or don’t like to read.”

Worthwhile ventures, wonderful dinner. Life is good.  Especially over Zinfandel.

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