Budgen, Frank / James Joyce and the making of 'Ulysses', and other writings
Introduction, pp. vii-xx
INTR DUCTION James Joyce and the Making of' Ulysses', although not generally available in Britain in recent years, has long been held in high esteem as one of the two or three indispensable books about Joyce and his works. While I had been familiar with it since adolescence, I did not meet Frank Budgen until the 19505 when, after having been employed in various jobs, I went up to Cambridge as a research student working on Joyce. Despite a difference of nearly half a century in our ages, we soon established a friendship which was easy and natural, and which contained no hint of paternalism or patronage on his part. From then until his death in April i~7i, we grew intimate, and while I could never, of course, have hoped to be as close to him as were the friends he had made in his young manhood, he was among the half-dozen people whom I knew and loved best. One of Budgen's many fine qualities was a gift for making new friendships with people of all ages. Although he used occasionally to grumble about the unfortunate effects of technological progress on the quality of life in London and elsewhere, he never failed, even in his last years, to welcome new life, new experience. In his thirties, when he and Joyce were closest, Budgen must have been a most stimulating companion. Even in his eighties he was an excellent man at a party, enjoying the company of people of all kinds, being lionized by many of the men and by virtually all of the women, talking with zest, listening (as few people do) with equal zest. It was when he was in the company of a number of his friends that one saw most clearly the vigorous, intelligent, endlessly curious man whom Joyce had known. Budgen was of medium height, solidly built, with quite remarkably powerful shoulders and one of the soundest physiques I have ever seen. He was very much at home in the physical world, being visually and tactilely sensitive, as plastic artists must be, to all that was going on around him, and always keen to be physically in touch.
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