Joyce and the G-Men: J. Edgar Hoover’s Manipulation of by C. Culleton

By C. Culleton

A number of years in the past on a whim, Culleton asked James Joyce's FBI dossier. Hoover had Joyce less than surveillance as a suspected Communist, and the chain of cross-references that Culleton from Joyce's dossier lead her to obscenity trials and, much less evidently, to a plot to assassinate Irish labour chief James Larkin. Hoover committed loads of strength to holding watch on intellectuals and thought of literature to be risky on a couple of degrees. Joyce and the G-Men explores how those linkages are indicative of the tradition of the FBI below Hoover, and the resurgence of yankee anti-intellectualism.

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Joyce and the G-Men: J. Edgar Hoover’s Manipulation of Modernism

Numerous years in the past on a whim, Culleton asked James Joyce's FBI dossier. Hoover had Joyce lower than surveillance as a suspected Communist, and the chain of cross-references that Culleton from Joyce's dossier lead her to obscenity trials and, much less evidently, to a plot to assassinate Irish labour chief James Larkin.

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Winchell,” she added, “was Hoover’s number one outlet” (139). 11 In her fascinating study of the Book-of-the-Month Club Janice Radway writes that “it is clear to anyone who examines those lists [of main selections] with care that one literary category did not make its way automatically to the club’s subscribers. Literary modernism is conspicuously absent from the list of books the judges recommended as appropriate to a large general audience” (A Feeling for Books, 279). Radway writes at length of Henry Seidel Canby’s dislike of literary modernism, and notes his contempt for modernists Joyce and Faulkner (291-93).

There wasn’t much he could do for the bankrupt cooperative magazine (Fishbein, 35), abandoned by its original editor, Piet Vlag. Eastman would stay with the Masses as its editor until the paper ceased publication in 1917. ” He is incriminated in the next sentence, though. “This Bureau’s records reflect, however, that Eastman, a well-known author, editor and lecturer, was admittedly an advocate of the Communist system, who for many years lectured in support thereof in the United States and also wrote several books on the subject” (Eastman FBI file).

Roth’s point about Joyce’s public acceptance is an important one, since we know that Hoover’s G-men certainly kept tabs on what was “required reading” in colleges. In 1928 Michael Gold acknowledged “college professors and fat magazines have at last ‘recognized’ the American Literature of 1914-1928. Daring young instructors in English courses can now safely recognize Edna Millay, Sherwood Anderson and Carl Sandburg” (New Masses, Sept. 1928: 13). The bureau would have noticed the sea shift, as well, and its attention to college campuses and on the reading lists of certain professors would lead eventually to HUAC investigations of college instructors who were scrutinized for what they taught and what they required their students to read.

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