You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.
Skip Navigation

The Swiss Government Rejected James Joyce's Visa—Because They Thought He Was His Jewish Character, Leopold Bloom

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Mr. James Joyce has been obliged to leave Paris and he is at present, with his wife, his son and his grandson, in a little village in the unoccupied part of France, not far from Vichy. Due to the fact that he is a British citizen, his position in France is precarious. His daughter is seriously ill in a hospital on the coast near Nantes, which is under continual bombardment. Mr. Joyce has made application to be allowed to take his family to Switzerland; but the Swiss authorities, before granting residence, now require a substantial guarantee—in this case, the equivalent of over $7,000, to be deposited in a bank in Switzerland—that the visitor should not become a public charge. Present circumstances, cutting off foreigners in France from all outside sources of income, make the raising of this sum impossible other than through an appeal to friends abroad. Half of the amount has already been advanced and a committee has been formed to raise the remainder. Mr. Joyce is probably at the present time the greatest living writer in English, and it would be impossible to contribute more effectively to the cause of literature than by helping to get him to a place of safety. Those who are in a position to do so are asked to communicate with Robert N. Kastor, 52 Wall Street, New York City, who has consented to act as chairman of the committee. Other members are: Bennett Cerf and B.W. Huebsch, Mr. Joyce’s publishers in America, Padraic and Mary Colum, Eugene and Maria Jolas, James J. Sweeney, Thornton Wilder, Donald Adams, Irita Van Doren, Edmund Wilson and Franz Werfel.