Ulysses phone app cleared after Apple backs down


THE BOOK was reviled for decades while a ban on the film was only lifted after 33 years and now a an iPad app for James Joyce’s Ulysseshas become the latest subject of controversy. A US publisher was forced by Apple to remove nude cartoon images from a comic-book version of the epic novel set in Dublin before the computer giant backed down last night.

Robert Berry, the illustrator of Ulysses Seen, said Apple specifically asked them to edit pages 35 and 37 of the comic-book app, which contained an image of a woman exposing her breasts.

“We made the decision to edit the pages with the nude Mulligan, which we only submitted to Apple in an update, after being asked to edit those two,” he said. The app was not “banned” as previously reported: “Apple just asked us to make some edits,” Mr Berry said.

Chad Rutkowski, manager of Throwaway Horse, the publisher of Ulysees Seensaid: We offered to pixilate the image or add a bar or fig leaf, but were told that was not sufficient.

However, Apple reversed its decision on the matter late last night according to Mr Rutkowski.

They said that the request to edit should not have been made, asked us to resubmit the original images, and promised to expedite review.

Mark Traynor, manager of the James Joyce Centre in Dublin, said the comic-book version of Joyce’s most famous work was an excellent idea. Ulyssesis traditionally viewed as being inaccessible and a comic-book version is making it more accessible.” He said any censorship would be “daft and prudish”.

Mr Berry and Josh Levitas, the production director, began the comic version of the novel more than two years ago. It can be viewed at www.ulyssesseen.com.

Rated as suitable for those aged 17 and over only by Apple, the Ulysses Seenapp is available at the iTunes store.

The 1,000-page novel was published in Paris in 1922 and banned by many countries. US customs had confiscated excerpts before the final proof was published, and English customs officials burned the book at Folkestone.

Joseph Strick’s controversial film adaptation of the book was banned for 33 years, having first been refused a certificate by both the censor and the Film Appeals Board in 1967.

The novel will be celebrated tomorrow, Bloomsday, when enthusiasts will be given the chance to celebrate Leopold Bloom’s journey around Dublin.