Thursday, November 20, 2008

Literary Treasures from Dublin, Ireland

I recently arrived back from a working vacation on the Emerald Isle, where, as I mentioned before, my Mom - by the grace of God - is valiantly recovering from a stroke.

But I did manage to squeeze in a fun and info-packed morning at the wonderful Dublin Writers’ Museum, which is housed in an awesome eighteenth century Georgian house, decorated with stained glass windows. I braved the pouring rain, but it was worth every drop, to experience a wealth of treasures in Irish literature.

The atmosphere beckons you to tiptoe back in time, and read about the legacy of talent left by Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, Nobel prize winners - George Bernard Shaw and W.B.Yeats, James Joyce, J.M. Synge, Brahm Stoker, Brendan Behan etc. I saw with my own smiling Irish eyes, a signed copy of James Joyce’s "Ulysses" and also his piano, (I guess James and I have something in common); a first edition of Brahm Stoker’s Dracula; the actual typewriter which Brendan Behan threw out the window of a pub (presumably due to frustration in his writing efforts); some original programmes from the earliest plays in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, which Yeats and Synge were instrumental in establishing. The Abbey opened in 1904, and remains active to the present day. The story of its evolution is very interesting.

Much later, but still too soon for me, as I emerged into the continuously pelting rain, I began planning the itinerary for my return trip! It definitely must include a visit to the Victorian house, which is the birthplace of G.B. Shaw, and also the1804 Martello Tower in Sandycove, where James Joyce had a brief but dramatic stay. The tower is famous as the setting for the opening of "Ulysses", and is now a museum devoted to Joyce’s life and works.

And hopefully, someday, I’ll have a PERSONAL reason to enter the building next door to the Writers’ Museum - the Irish Writers’Centre, which handles the business and promotion of contemporary Irish writers!
Such a long and illustrious list of authors has emanated from my homeland - "the Island of Saints and Scholars" - that I guess there’s no excuse for me...
So stay tuned - I ’m on a roll ...


Rita L. Betti said...

Hi Cora,
Welcome to blogland . . . I enjoy your writing and hope to visit Ireland again through you prose. Keep up the good work.

B.K. Jackson said...

Congratulations on your new blog! I love reading about your experiences and viewing other locales through your eyes.