Proustian challenges for Harding


Sir, – Michael Harding’s travails with his Proustian dinner guest (“A house full of people I can hear through the wall”, Life, October 18th) reminded me of the apocryphal story of an Irishman’s interview on a London building site in the 1960s. The foreman asked our compatriot whether or not he knew the difference between a joist and a girder. Straightening himself, our compatriot confidently advised the foreman that Joyce wrote Ulysses and Goethe wrote Faust. History does not tell us if he got the job. – Yours, etc,


Bundoran, Co Donegal.