Frank Budgen


Frank Budgen

Frank Budgen (1882-1971) was a British painter acquainted with the author James Joyce. Born in Surrey, Budgen spent six years at sea before working in London as a postal worker. He changed jobs a number of times before travelling to Paris in 1910 to study painting, moving to Switzerland in time for World War I. Here he was employed by the British government at the Ministry of Information, an institution established in Zürich for "the spread of British propaganda in neutral countries." He returned to London in 1920, where he remained until his death.

Joyce and Budgen spent much of the war in the same city and similar social circles. According to Budgen's 1934 memoir "James Joyce and the making of Ulysses", Joyce discussed aesthetic matters with Budgen a number of times, often referring to the content of Joyce's "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man", "Ulysses" and "Finnegans Wake". The last of these three, Budgen stated, Joyce referred to at the time as "Work in Progress"; indeed a number of the conversations he reports as having had with Joyce imply that the author was working out the form and content of this work in part by arguing with Budgen.


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