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Frank Budgen

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posted on 2023-06-19, 14:48 authored by Dirk Van HulleDirk Van Hulle
Frank Budgen

Painter, socialist activist and ear to JJ. Born in Crowhurst, Surrey, Frank Spencer Curtis Budgen spent several years at sea before settling in London as a postal worker. He became General Secretary of the Socialist Labour Party in 1907. In 1910, he went to Paris to study painting, supporting himself as a model for the Swiss sculptor August Suter. During his years in Paris, he became acquainted with the French writer Blaise Cendrars and the Swiss poet and translator Siegfried Lang. At the invitation of August Suter he moved to Switzerland shortly before World War I, where he was employed in Zurich at Great Britain's Ministry of Information, established for "the spread of British propaganda in neutral countries". In Zurich, he became acquainted with JJ who engaged in lengthy discussions with him about Ulysses, at the time in progress. Budgen wrote about these essential insights in his reminiscences, James Joyce and the Making of "Ulysses" (1934).

In his own right, Budgen was a painter, mostly of landscapes, and made several portraits, sketches and charcoal drawings of JJ. He was a model for a sculpture by August Suter which can be seen in Zurich's Uraniastrasse. After the war Budgen returned to London, where he lived until his death. He was married to Francine Budgen (1896-1977) with daughter Joan. Frank and Francine Budgen are buried at the graveyard of St George's Church, Crowhurst, Surrey. Budgen was a guest of honour at the first International James Joyce Symposium in Dublin, June 1967, and participated for a few days in the second one, 1969. Budgen's vivid autobiography of his first forty years, Myselves When Young, was published in 1970. Fritz Senn


James Joyce's Unpublished Letters: A Digital Edition and Text-Genetic Study.

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Frank Budgen



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Frank Spencer Curtis Budgen

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