Vol. 8 No. 2 1941 - page 87

was as though he had a premonition of the immense trials that lay
before him. It was during this period that he suggested that we
plan a
bal de la
puree-which is French slang for general insol–
vency-since the depression was beginning to be felt in Paris more
and more. The gayest of the guests was Joyce himself, who finally
inveigled all the ladies present to give him the first prize for his
costume: that of an old Irish stage character famous once as
Handy Andy.
At that time, the sudden death of his father came to him as a
profound shock. He had never made any bones about his great
affection for his father, and the autobiographical elements of his
work reveal this in numberless symbolical and mythological allu–
was man
search of his father, and
is once again the expression of that filial quest. In those
days, he dreamed much about him, and one evening he said sud–
denly: "I hear my father talking to me. I wonder where he is."
Sometimes he would tell picaresque tales of his father's wit, and
the last one I remember was one that concerned his father's reac–
tion in Dublin to a miniscule sketch of him made by Brancusi. It
was merely a geometrical spiral study symbolizing the ear. "Well,
Jim hasn't changed much," said his father on seeing the portrait.
During the summer and fall of 1931 his daughter Lucia suf–
fered a nervous collapse, and we spent several months with the
Joyce family in a little frontier town in the mountains of Austria.
Joyce had not been writing for some time, due, partly, to the
intense worry he felt over his daughter's condition, partly to the
general mood of inertia caused by the depression. So we took long
walks together along the swirling mountain river Ill, nearby, or we
climbed the wooded hills. He had a deep love for mountains and
rivers, because, he said, "They are the phenomena that will remain
when all the peoples and their governments will have
Yet he was not at all a nature romantic. He was rather a man of
the megapolis. Towards dusk, after a siesta, he would go walking
again. Eight o'clock was the hour he had set for himself many
decades before as the time for his first glass of wine of the day.
That summer he evolved a sort of ritual which, to me, had an
almost grotesque fascination. At half past seven, he would race
suddenly for the railroad station, where the Paris-Vienna Express
was due to stop for ten minutes each day. He would quietly walk
up and down the platform. "Over on those .tracks there," he said
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