The narrator of this rare clip describes James Joyce – arguably the greatest novelist of the 20th century — as a “small, thin, unathletic man with very bad eyes.” Ouch. And it gets worse. According to the voiceover, when Joyce and drinking buddy Ernest Hemingway faced a potential brawl, Joyce would hide behind his more imposing comrade and shout “Deal with him, Hemingway, deal with him!!!’
But we bet they were both just hiding behind Gertrude Stein.
For more on Hemingway’s adventures in fighting, see our post Ernest Hemingway’s Delusional Adventures in Boxing: “My Writing is Nothing, My Boxing is Everything.”
Sheerly Avni is a San Francisco-based arts and culture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Weekly, Mother Jones, and many other publications. You can follow her on twitter at @sheerly.