Conversations with James Joyce by Arthur Power
In the ordinary sense Joyce was not a conversationalist, writes Arthur Power, in Conversations with James Joyce. An aspiring painter and art critic, Power (of the famous whiskey family) struck up a strained, somewhat prickly friendship with the master of exile, silence, and cunning at the Bal Bullier in Paris, in the year of 1921. This volume is Power’s record of the two men’s encounters and conversations, whose subjects ranged from Irish literature to American politics, and from Assyrian monuments to the individual “odor of a country,” which, Joyce assured his wide-eyed interlocutor, was “the gauge of its civilization.” Here is a rare glimpse of the private James Joyce―to Power’s great surprise, not a brash bohemian, but a steadily working, sharp-tongued, elusive man.
Arthur Power's Conversations with James Joyce, edited by Clive Hart and originally published in 1974, is an important artifact relating Joyce's thoughts and opinions on past writers as well as his contemporaries: Synge, Ibsen, Hardy, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Dostoevsky, Gide, Proust, Eliot, Tennyson, and Shakespeare.