I don't want to talk about that exploit. I took the idea to be a sort of practical joke
but didn't know enough about [Ulysses] to suspect it might injure my name.
It began with an American lady in Paris by the name of Sylvia Beach...
I detest it, but the truth is that she fell in love with me. Fancy that!
THE DALKEY ARCHIVE
In the illustration, Sylvia Beach is seated at far left and James Joyce is wearing a halo.
An American writer is on his knees. His name is Scott Fitzgerald
Sylvia arranged the dinner for the primary purpose of introducing Scott to his idol.
Scott inscribed this well-blogged cartoon in her copy of The Great Gatsby.
Flann O'Brien was born in 1911.*****
The only real life encounter between James Joyce and Flann O'Brien
involved a post office and a student's first novel.
The year was 1939.
O’Brien sent a copy to James Joyce, who had escaped to Paris. His reaction was pleasing: ‘That’s a real writer, with a true comic spirit… a really funny book’.
Dylan Thomas read the book and declared ‘This is just the book to give your sister if she is a loud, dirty, boozy girl’.
Joyce encouraged O’ Brien to promote the novel on mainland Europe. Sadly though, Joyce died in 1941, before he could be of any further help to the young writer.
But At Swim Two Birds, the novel read by Joyce and Dylan Thomas, would ultimately stand on its own two legs.
Today, it is safe to assume that throughout Ireland all self-respecting college literature programs include At Swim Two Birds
High school students in Ireland, however, are not required to read THE DALKEY ARCHIVE
for the same reason that American students are not required to read the TV guide.
There are some things which high school students will do naturally on their own.
The dinner party cartoon is a 2nd Generation photograph
My B&W bamboo-framed photograph of F. Scott Fitzgerald's illustration will be on exhibit during an Orange County ART WALK next month