From The Dalkey Archive

Flann O'Brien --1964


--Mr Joyce, how did you live in all those years?

--Teaching languages, mostly English, and giving grinds. I used to hang around the Sorbonne. Meals were easy enough to scrounge there, anyway.

--Did the Catholic Truth Society pay you for those booklets you wrote?

--Not at all, why should they?

--Tell me more about Ulysses.

-- I paid very little attention to it until one day I was given a piece from it about some woman in bed thinking the dirtiest thoughts that ever came into the human head. Pornography and filth and literary vomit, enough to make even a blackguard of a Dublin cabman blush. I blessed myself and put the thing in the fire.

--Well was the complete Ulysses , do you think, ever published?

--I certainly hope not.

Mick paused for a few seconds and pressed the bell for service. What would he say? Frankness in return seemed called for.

--Mr. Joyce, he said solemnly, I can tell that you have been out of touch with things for a long time. The book Ulysses was published in Paris in 1922, with your name on the title page. and it was considered a great book.

--God forgive you. Are you fooling me? I am getting on in years. Remember that.

Mick patted his sleeve, and signalled to the server to bring more drinks


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