June 16th is Bloomsday, the day on which James Joyce’s sprawling Modernist novel Ulysses (1922) takes place, and a day which has since become an excuse to celebrate literature, Dublin, and, well, pubs. On this Bloomsday, join us in this charming remembrance of Joyce himself, written by his friend August Suter and first published in 1970 in the James Joyce Quarterly.
“Joyce needed friends around him after the exertions of his work, especially arduous when his eyesight failed him. In his dissociation from seemingly all traditions he met the people, from whom he was, at heart, so different, with all the more courtesy and correctness. He was aware of the vanity of political controversies and discussions. I was impressed with Joyce’s patience, the patience of a genius.
He expected to succeed—but did nothing, beyond his work, to bring about his success.”
For a vivid portrait of Joyce’s life in Zurich (sample observation: “women’s drawers amused him”), read the entire essay here.