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The 1969 Edition of Ulysses: The Making of a Penguin Classic

From: James Joyce Quarterly
Volume 46, Number 1, Fall 2008
pp. 55-73 | 10.1353/jjq.0.0110



The status of Ulysses as a classic in the United Kingdom, and, more specifically, its adoption within the academic canon, resulted from its first publication as a paperback by the Penguin Press in 1969. The decisions that Penguin made about price, size, design, additional matter, and marketing were directed towards enhancing that status. This represented an abandonment of the previous markets for the novel: the avant-garde (and its two subsidiaries—the aspirant high-culture consumer and the fine-book collector) and the pornographic. A discussion of the nature of these markets is integrated with evidence drawn from archival sources.