Writers’ Perversity

More from David Lodge:

Some of Joyce's biographers have wondered whether this [jealous] emotion wasn't almost deliberately whipped up by Joyce so that he could draw on it for his fiction. Nora complained later in their marriage that "Jim wants me to go with other men so that he will have something to write about." She never did and Joyce would have been devastated if she had actually done so.

Maybe not so unusual among writers. The book also talks about Graham Greene and D H Lawrence. In that arty world there seemed to be glamour attached to complicated angst, and especially to tortured and complex love lives.

I got beguiled by that when I was a teenager, and it was only much later that a simple, happy life became attractive and possible again.

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