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Budgen, Frank / James Joyce and the making of 'Ulysses', and other writings

Hart, Clive
Introduction,   pp. vii-xx PDF (846.0 KB)

Page vii

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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