This isn't the first time that Stephen Joyce has hurt the cause of scholarship about his grandfather. He threatened to sue the Irish Museum over its exhibition of Joyce's papers. He threatened to sue pubs in Ireland for allowing people to read aloud from Joyce's novels on Bloomsday, the celebration of Ulysses. He told symphonic composers that they couldn't put Joyce quotations in their symphonies.
Most tragically, there was a brief moment when Stephen Joyce was irrelevant. The works of James Joyce were in the public domain until the EU copyright directive extended copyright by 20 years, putting Joyce's books back into the care of his capricious grandson for decades.
There's a whole body of scholarship devoted to tracking the ways in which Stephen Joyce has made himself the enemy of academics and Joyce lovers. The best work to start with is Matthew Rimmer's Bloomsday: Copyright Estates and Cultural Festivals.
Before the book was published, publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux removed several supporting citations from Shloss' tome to avoid a lawsuit, according to Olson. Shloss wants to post that information as an electronic appendix to answer several critics who charged that "To Dance in the Wake" was interesting, but thin on documentary evidence, Olson said.Link (Thanks, Vidiot!)
"It's painful once you've written something ... that you think is complete and good, to have it hacked up," Olson said. "There is a desire to bring it forth in the way she originally intended."
Shloss prepared the Web site last year but never made it public because she worried about being sued, Olson said. Among the items excised from the book are quotations from "Finnegans Wake" she thinks support her thesis, as well as letters between James Joyce and his daughter, according to Olson.
Shloss wants the court to declare she's entitled to use information the estate controls under laws that allow authors to quote copyrighted works if they do it in "a scholarly transformative manner."
Update: This New Yorker article on the case is full of great color and background, and includes the fact that Larry Lessig, founder of the Creative Commons project, is arguing the case.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.