Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Modernism and Copyright" edited by Paul K. Saint-Amour

Modernism and Copyright, an outstanding collection of essays published by Oxford University Press, is shipping now and should soon be available from online booksellers and selected brick and mortar stores.  The table of contents is reproduced here.  The editor, Paul K. Saint-Amour, is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of a well-regarded previous volume on copyright and literature, The Copywrights: Intellectual Property and the Literary Imagination.

Many of the essays in Copyright and Modernism  touch on the adverse effect that prolonging the term of copyright has had on literary scholarship, particularly scholarship exploring the works of modernist authors, many of which would have passed into the public domain (or would soon be doing so) but for the enactment in 1998 of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act.

I particularly recommend an essay by Robert Spoo, "Ezra Pound, Legislator: Perpetual Copyright and Unfair Competition with the Dead."  Spoo is an interesting hybrid -- a professor of law, a practicing attorney, and a former English literature professor, who was, at one time, the editor of the James Joyce Quarterly.  Notably, Spoo was also one of the lawyers who represented Carol Loeb Shloss in her copyright battle with the James Joyce Estate over her biography of Joyce's daughter, Lucia. Shloss's account of her fascinating lawsuit, "Privacy and the Misuse of Copyright," also appears in the volume.

Full disclosure:  I contributed an essay on, among other things, the J.D. Salinger, L. Ron Hubbard, and Richard Wright copyright cases, which involved questions of the "fair use" of unpublished letters in biographies.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great book. I look forward to more of your blog, too!