1 April 1922

Victoria Palace Hotel, Paris

Violet dearest
   You may imagine how much I dislike proving to you and Sydney how insupportable a creature I am. But I am now in bed with a violent cold. I caught it somehow on Wednesday in these corridors and there it is in all its vileness. This means of course that again I shant be able to see you. I am tired of being governed by the Furies; I think its time they left me alone a little. But the moment I am better may I telephone you and come and see you?
   I was so distressed that Sydney stayed such a short time on Wednesday. But Joyce was rather. . . difficile. I had no idea until then of his view of Ulysses - no idea how closely it was modelled on the Greek story, how absolutely necessary it was to know the one through and through to be able to discuss the other. Ive read the Odyssey and am more or less familiar with it but Murry and Joyce simply sailed away out of my depth - I felt almost stupified. Its absolutely impossible that other people should understand Ulysses as Joyce understands it. Its almost revolting to hear him discuss its difficulties. It contains code words that must be picked up in each paragraph and so on. The Question and Answer part can be read astronomically or from the geological standpoint or • oh, I don't know! And in the midst of this he told us that his latest admirer was Jack Dempsey.
   No, I really believe there is no reason Civilisation should go. There is still a chance of saving it in spite of everything and Im against the destroyers . . .  [To Violet Schiff, c. 1 April 1922.]