Newsflash! Vacuum Cleaner Sucks Up Budgen!

After posting about Frank Budgen (pictured above) last week, I was reminded about another important role Budgen played in the production of Ulysses. I was most certainly remiss in excluding it from the previous post.
Our esteemed Associate Director, Mike Barsanti (see artist’s conception to the right), Mike Barsanti in work clothes.who is piled higher and deeper in these matters than I could ever hope to be (of course I mean that in a good way — just as someone said to me yesterday, with the utmost love, he insisted, that Bloomsday sounds like the nerdiest event imaginable. And I believe him. But back to Mike, let’s face it, if your name is associated on the Internets with the following phrase: “On Lacan, ‘Phallus’ and ‘Mirror,'” chances are you have a Ph.D. in English, right?), gave an illuminating, entertaining, expansive talk about Ulysses at Fergie’s pub last Friday evening. He mentioned in passing that Budgen wrote out part of the manuscript at Joyce’s dictation. We’ve often seen images of Joyce wearing an eye patch — he wasn’t just playing pirate, people, he had severe difficulties with his eyes, including glaucoma and iritis.

EMS 1293/09.  Unknown photographer.  James Joyce.  [South of France:1922?]
At times, as when he dictated to Budgen, Joyce could barely see and couldn’t tolerate much exposure to light. He also presumably had to live with the persistent fear that he might go blind. Even when partially disabled, though, he continued to work. Hence the following sample from the manuscript for the “Wandering Rocks” episode in Budgen’s hand:

James Joyce. MS: Ulysses, Wandering Rocks episode, p. 32.  Paris [January-February 1919.]  EL4 .J89 922 MS

And here’s Joyce’s note at the end of the chapter explaining the unusual handwriting, lest anyone think he had been struck by a brief spell of legibility:

James Joyce. MS: Ulysses, Wandering Rocks episode, p. 32.  Paris [January-February 1919.]  EL4 .J89 922 MS

So, I can be as snarky about Frank Budgen’s artwork as I like, but Budgen still “wrote” part of Ulysses. Can’t front on that.

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1. Unknown photographer. Portrait of Frank Budgen. Zurich: [n.d.] Published in: Frank Budgen (1882-1971), Myselves When Young. London: Oxford U. Press, 1970.

2. Unknown Photographer. Mike Barsanti in His Work Clothes. Image located at Hen Shit Freezes.

3. Uknown photographer. Photograph of James Joyce. [South of France, 1922?] EMs 1293/09.

4. James Joyce (1882-1941). MS: Ulysses, “Wandering Rocks” episode, p 32 (in the hand of Frank Budgen.) Paris: January-February 1919. EL4 .J89ul 922 MS.
5. James Joyce (1882-1941). MS: Ulysses, “Wandering Rocks” episode, p. 48. Paris: January-February 1919. EL4 .J89ul 922 MS.