When I met James Joyce, he was engaged on Work in Progress and had just completed Anna Livia Plurabelle. At that first meeting at Scott’s one Sunday evening he set out to be as strange and difficult as possible, for on that particular occasion he would speak no language but Italian, which the rest of the party unfortunately could not speak, and would address no one except his daughter and very few words to her. Our hosts were the Herbert Hugheses. There must have been plenty of lively chatter at the table; but I remember only Joyce’s obdurate silence and Joyce himself, tall, slim, delicate, with a high, narrow head (a typical Leinster man); eyes blue and blind, it seemed, behind thick glasses; finely-made hands, a slender neck, a chin-tuft and a pale check tie fastened with a little brooch in the form of a bee. He drank only white wine, and this later proved to be one of his characteristics. He would not eat, and this was characteristic too. At the end of the meal, he called for a banana, and afterwards, for a fan, with which he fanned himself a little; and when we rose to go, he put on a straw boater and a second pair of pebble spectacles, and wearing the two pairs came slowly out into Piccadilly, leaning for guidance on Herbert Hughes ’arm.
KeywordsWhite Wine Thick Glass Daily Telegraph Black Magic Sunday Evening
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