23 July 2014

Thanks to James Joyce by Brendan Behan

Thanks to James Joyce
Brendan Behan

Here in the rue St. André des Arts
In an Arab tavern, pissed,
For a studious Frenchman I construe you,
Ex. G.I.'s and a Russian, pissed.
All of those things you penned I praise
While, in France, I swill Pernod in return:
Proud of you as a writer we are
And grateful for the Calvados we owe to you.

If you were me
And I were you
Leaving Les Halles
Holding all this cognac,
On a full belly bawling,
You'd write a verse or two in my praise.

Dankzij James Joyce

Hier in de Rue St. André des Arts

In een Arabische kroeg, bezopen,
Verklaar ik je aan een leergierige Fransman,
Ex. G.I.'s en een Rus, ook bezopen.
Al die dingen die je hebt neer gepend, prijs ik
Onderwijl, in Frankrijk, zuip ik in ruil Pernod:
We zijn trots op je als schrijver
En dankbaar voor de Calvados die we je schuldig blijven.

Als ik jou was

En jij mij
Les Halles verlatend
Al die cognac binnenhoudend,
In een schreeuwende volle buik,
Zou je ter ere van mij een gedicht of twee schrijven.

(Translation into Dutch by Hans van den Bos)

21 July 2014

James Joyce's letter from The Hague to Sylvia Beach

27 May 1927               Grand Hotel Restaurant Victoria, La Haye

Dear Miss Beach, [1]
Silvia Beach & James Joyce
I return you herewith posthaste the pomes in their proper order with correct dates and text and an addition to face p 2 and if you fill in the titlepage it is all right but I should like to check a final proof in bound proof. Has my brother not sent  on the rest of the MMS yet? [2] I am sorry I could not hear you.[3] There is a station (on 1950) at Scheveningen but it seems in this season only for transmitting. There is scarcely a soul there on account of the cold spell so we stay in the town and tram it out: it is only about 10 minutes. Here it is very quiet and dear but the people are very civil and obliging and not rapacious really. It is the exchange and the small things do not hit them at all though to us they seem terribly dear. The strand is wild and endless. Unfortunately I had a dreadful time with a savage dog on Wednesday 25 inst. My wife and Lucia had gone for tea and I walked on a mile or so and lay down on my overcoat reading the baedeker and trying to make out the coastline when a brute rushed from Lord knows where at me. I beat him off a few times. His owner ran up and his mistress and they got him down but he slunk round when their back was turned and attacked me again in the same way fully four times. It lasted I am sure a quarter of an hour. In my alarm my glasses got knocked and one of the lenses flew away in the sand. When Madame or whatever she was finally lugged the animal away growling the owner and I went down on her knees and after groping for a long time found the lens. I feel so helpless with those detestable animals. Revolver? I suppose he would have me before I made up my mind to fire. Or carry stones in my pocket? If I could do the trick of gentleman into fox [4] I could save my brush better.
Scheveningen strand
  Thank Mrs. Antheil for the words. [5] I shall use some of them. As regards the rest I will explain to her in Paris. I hope Ulysses IX [6] will soon ascend the papal throne. His motto is to be: Triste canis vulpibus =This 'ere dog will worry them there foxyboys. With kindest regards sincerely yours

James Joyce


  1 Transcription corrected with the assistance of Melissa W. Banta
  2 Joyce sent to Stanislaus Joyce for a number of his manuscripts; he wished to present the manuscript of Dublinners and that of Stephen Hero to Miss Beach.
  3 Miss Beach spoke on the French radio about the publication of Ulysses in Paris.
  4 An allusion to Lady into Fox (London, 1922), a novel of David Garnett (b.1892), the English writer.
  5 Presumably Russian words (since Mrs Antheil was from Russia), to be worked into Finnegans Wake.
  6 The ninth printing of Ulysses was issued this month.

From ''Selected Letters of James Joyce'', edited by Richard Ellmann, The Viking Press.NewYork, second printing May 1976.

20 July 2014

A letter from The Hague by Nora Joyce to her son Giorgio

The Hague Friday 27 May 1927

Dear Giorgio,
Schevening' Pier
your father Jim is also writing a letter in our hotel room in The Hague and so am I because I have nothing else to do and I miss you and your sister Lucia is well fortunately she sends her love and we have been here since Saturday so almost a week and we have a room in a decent hotel called Grand Hotel Restaurant Victoria La Haye in the middle of a street full of shops near a beautiful arcade with elegant shops and tearooms

it is dear here but the people are very civil and polite and not at all miserly says your father who is thinking only about his new book which he is writing in his own new language which contains all the languages of the world including growling Dutch with crazy words like schouwburg which means showborough but is actually just a theatre for operas and plays just like his last book it will be just as incomprehensible and unsellable I fear but let your father have his way there is nothing we can do anyhow

it is not so warm here about eight degrees celsius very cold for the time of year and so we don't take the tram to the beach at scheveningen aan zee so often it's a lovely seaside resort with a wooden pier your father calls the strand wild and endless and it is I love the sea and that is of course because I grew up in Galway which is on the ocean and is also a seaside resort I think that if you were born by the sea you always have a connection with the sea funny to think that it is the same water here as at home back then

View of Delft
Wednesday Lucia and I were drinking tea as your father took a walk along the beach because he wanted to see if he could follow the coastline with his bad eye when a dreadful dog came running up to him and attacked him four times you know how scared your father is of dogs the ordeal lasted at least a quarter of an hour and to make matters worse his spectacles received a wallop that caused one of the lenses to fall in the sand and after a long search he found the lens again but your father was out of sorts for the rest of the day

yesterday we went to look at paintings at a small yet beautiful museum by a pond that they call the
Girl with pearl
mauritshuis there is a very big painting there of an old man with a cow by a tree in a meadow very lovely but your father thought another painting the most beautiful and that is the view of Delft your father says it is the most beautiful painting in the world because you can stare at it for hours and still see new things Lucia thinks it is boring and she cares more for another painting by Johan Vermeer and that is a lovely girl with a pearl we will send you a postcard of it she looks a bit like Lucia

so Giorgio now we are going to eat in the hotel and it cost one guilder and fifty cents not cheap let us hope this evening your father does not drink too much as always and greetings from La Haye from your mother Nora

This letter, was edited by Ruud Hisgen and published for the first time in the book 'The Hague, City without Walls', 2012

15 July 2014

Kees Touw - Vier rivieren als boekenleggers [1993]

In opdracht van Boekhandel J. van den Bos, Rotterdam

In de verte floot de sleepboot; zijn roep klonk over de brug, over een boog, nog een boog, de sluis, een andere brug, ver, hoe langer hoe verder. Hij riep alle schepen van de rivier om naar hem toe te komen, allemaal, en de hele stad, en de hemel en al het land, en ons, alles voerde hij mee, ook de Seine, alles, want hij wilde niet dat iemand er nog over sprak.
L.F. Celine - Reis naar het einde van de nacht - Vertaling E.Y. Kummer

Wacht even. Die arme vogels. Hij bleef weer staan en kocht bij het oude appelvrouwtje twee Banbury-cakes voor een penny, brak het brosse deeg en wierp de brokjes in de Liffey. Zie je dat? Vanuit hun hoogte streken geruisloos de meeuwen neer, twee, daarna alle, zich op prooi stortend. Weg. Tot het laatste hapje toe.
James Joyce - Ulysses - Vertaling J. van den Bergh

Ik reed door vredige voorstadjes naar de Rijn en weer weg van de Rijn, tot de tram eindelijk tussen de grindgraverijen en barakken de lus van de eindhalte maakte.
Heinrich Boll - Biljarten om halftien - Vertaling.......

Nieuwe Maas
Op een stroeve manier gingen zij met elkaar om. Hij was voor haar toch geen kwade zoon. 's Zondagsmiddag gingen zij altijd wandelen. Ze wou naar de rivier, nooit ergens anders heen, zo gingen ze naar het Park of naar de Oude Plantage. Ze keken over het water, ze zeiden weinig, hun stilzwijgen was soms op de grens van vijandschap.
F. Bordewijk - Karakter

04 July 2014

James Joyce's Bid Adieu

Sung by his son

George Joyce - baritone

recorded 22 July 1949

BBC radio