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Last week's opinion was not the first of its kind for Judge Woolsey. A shy, scholarly, ponderous, blunt devotee of literature, the law, and what he calls "the art of small delights," he has been concerned with the legal nature of obscenity since 1931. In that year he ruled in favor of Dr. Marie Stope's Married Love. Three months later he rendered a favorable decision on her Contraception. He was the judge in famed plagiarism suits over Strange Interlude and Of Thee I Sing, in both of which he rendered decisions for the defendants. He earned the vacation he devoted to Ulysses by presiding last spring at the longest criminal case in the history of U. S. jurisprudence, the 109-day fraud trial of the promoters of the National Diversified Corp. who bilked Roman Catholic clergymen and others out of $3,000,000 to make talkie pictures (TIME, July 17).
Born in Aiken, S. C., 56 years ago, John Munro Woolsey went to Phillips Andover, Yale, Columbia Law School. For hobbies he collects pipes, strangely blended tobaccoes, old clocks. He plays mediocre golf, wearing a peculiar oriental cap to keep the sun from shining into his spectacles.
The history of Ulysses is, in part, the history of literary censorship in the U. S. Irishman James Joyce started writing his colossal story of one Dublin day in France in 1914. In 1918 Ezra Pound sent part of it to Margaret Anderson who published it in her Little Review. The U. S. Post Office Department seized and burned all copies sent through the mails. Vice Suppressor John S. Sumner* had Margaret Anderson indicted for publishing indecent matter, caused her and her Co-Editor Jane Heap to be fined $50. Thirty thousand copies of Ulysses have been sold in France, mostly to U. S. tourists to snuggle home. Immediate results of last week's decision were two. Publisher Cerf's Random House announced a forthcoming unabridged edition of Ulysses ($3.50) for general sale. In Paris, where he was waiting for another operation on his right eye, Author Joyce said he was "pleased with the judgment," hoped to get some much needed cash out of the U. S. edition.
Post to Stern
Oldest of New York dailies, the Evening Post, founded by Alexander Hamilton in 1801, has changed hands many times. The last time was in 1923 when white-thatched Cyrus Hermann Kotzschmar Curtis, richest of U. S. publishing merchandisers, marched up from Philadelphia and bought it from a Wall Street syndicate which had acquired it only the year before from Morgan Partner Lamont. For years the Evening Post, for all its fine tradition, had been a money-loser. Briefly after 1923 it looked as if Publisher Curtis might succeed where Wall Street had failed. Through Son-in-law John Charles Martin, Mr. Curtis poured money lavishly into the Evening Post, gave it the finest new plant in the city. Socialite Julian Starkweather Mason was hired as editor to give the sheet circulation. But still the Post did not fatten and thrive. Lately it has been losing money at the rate of $25,000 per week. When the experiment of making it a tabloid last September failed Publisher Martin could think of only one more thing. By last fortnight, all New York knew that the Post would presently be sold or scrapped.