restricted access A Note on the Frank Budgen Papers at the Zurich James Joyce Foundation
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A Note on the Frank Budgen Papers at the Zurich James Joyce Foundation

The recent donation of Frank Budgen's papers to the Dublin James Joyce Center, covered in the JJQ blog "Raising the Wind" in November 2012,1 provides an opportune moment to consider a Budgen collection already available: the Zurich James Joyce Foundation's Budgen papers, given to the center by Joan Budgen in the 1990s.2 Although the Foundation's website provides details about some of the items held there—including letters from Joyce, Stuart Gilbert, and Ezra Pound3—much of the material remains relatively unexamined. Among these less-celebrated components are several items of interest, including letters, news clippings, and draft notes. I will present here a brief outline of the archive, suggesting its potential for Joyce scholars and noting some of the more amusing or intriguing items held in Zurich.

The bulk of the Budgen papers is comprised of drafts and typescripts, largely for Budgen's two key publications, James Joyce and the Making of "Ulysses" and the curious autobiography Myselves When Young.4 The archives contain hundreds of sheets related to these two publications, both typed and hand-written, with alterations by Budgen; smaller extracts, including papers with brief notes on dates and similar items, are stored with these more sustained drafts. The archive also contains drafts of an article on Finnegans Wake, although the alterations made in these appear to be more stylistic than structural. Alongside them are several draft copies of Budgen's article on Martha Fleischmann for the Tri-Quarterly, among them a complete typescript with an accompanying letter to the editor, Charles Newman.5 These drafts on "the Fleischmann affair" are offset by a 1954 letter to Gilbert, in which Budgen outlines his knowledge of the relationship, explaining that he has so far "suppressed" the postscript of a letter from Joyce "now in the Yale (I think) library."6

Perhaps of more specific interest to Joyce scholars is the collection of newspaper clippings in the papers. The span of these documents is, if not surprising, certainly of note, both in terms of subject matter and geography: items in the archive range from a "Kunst in Basel" column on new art from Budgen and August Suter to a New Yorker article recommending the Making of "Ulysses" for both "dyed-in-the-wool Joyceans and new flounderers" to Budgen's 1971 Times of London obituary.7 Reviews of the Making of "Ulysses" are particularly revealing in terms of Joyce's early reception, with amusing lines such as the blithe "I have never read Joyce's famous book, 'Ulysses,'" which opens one article,8 giving way to more serious considerations of the author's potential for influence and longevity. Later commentaries offer the [End Page 22] researcher a chance to reflect on the growing academic market for Joyce; one from the Irish Times boldly declares Budgen's book "better than 20 studies from the American academic Joyce machine."9 The compilation of these thirty-odd international clippings will undoubtedly prove useful to scholars interested in tracing the varied global reception of Joyce's work as will other stand-alone items, such as a 1949 letter from the British Broadcasting Company inviting Budgen to deliver a talk on Joyce.10

Among the typescripts and newspaper clippings are smaller details that would prove appealing for any Joyce reader. Alongside several photographs of Joyce and others are rough sketches of the author, drawn by Budgen in pen while doodling in the margins of typed sheets. A note from Joyce, sent in July 1920 to Paul Suters's son,11 asks if Budgen is ill or absent: "Je lui ai écrit quatre ou cinq fois sans avoir eu de réponse.12 Another sheet of paper contains two brief poems by Budgen, one of which recalls a visit to Joyce in Paris:

I called once on my friend J.J.At his home on the Rue de GrenelleAnd I found him a drinking tilleul théAnd I said to myself- O- well!!13

The archives also contain a range of intimate tidbits left by an emerging Joyce industry. One note from Horizon magazine...