Joyce & Proust Meet

word and silence

Fromrejj that greatest of literary biographies, Richard Ellmann’s James Joyce, here is the account of Joyce meeting Marcel Proust, only a few months before Proust’s death:

On May 18, 1922, Sydney Schiff (“Stephen Hudson”), the English novelist whom Joyce had met a few times, invited him to a supper party for Stravinsky and Diaghilev following the first performance of one of their ballets. Joyce arrived late and apologized for not having dressed; at this time he had no formal clothes. He was drinking heavily to cover his embarrassment when the door opened and Marcel Proust in a fur coat appeared, as Joyce said afterwards, “like the hero of The Sorrows of Satan.” Schiff had mentioned the party to Proust but had not ventured to invite him because of Proust’s known unwillingness to emerge from his flat. Joyce followed Schiff and Mrs. Schiff to the door, was introduced…

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