Woolsey Decision in U.S. vs. One Book Called Ulysses

In 1921, Ulysses was banned in the U.S. due to objections to masturbation in the Nausicaa episode. The issue was revisited in 1933 in the case United States vs. One Book Called Ulysses. In contrast to the earlier ruling, Judge Woolsey decided that obscenity was not to be definined by looking at the potentially objectionable material in isolation, but that the questionable passages needed to be considered in the context of the work as a whole. Woolsey famously claimed “[W]hilst in many places the effect of Ulysses on the reader undoubtedly is somewhat emetic, nowhere does it tend to be an aphrodisiac.”