Tag Archives: James Joyce

Holiday in Ireland: August 2016

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On Tuesday we found ourselves at Lissadell House, the ancestral home of the Gore-Booth family, six years after we first visited it and Co. Sligo. Back then we went to see and hear Leonard Cohen; this time the house itself – famous for its connection with Constance Markievicz (née Gore-Booth) and W.B. Yeats – was the attraction. We looked out at the rain through the windows of which Yeats wrote (and Cohen recited):

The light of evening, Lissadell,
Great windows open to the south,
Two girls in silk kimonos, both
Beautiful, one a gazelle.
(from ‘In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markievicz’)

There’s an extensive and excellent Easter 1916 exhibition in Lissadell at present, including a lot of Markievicz paraphernalia. There is also a wealth of material related to Yeats and his brother, the prolific painter Jack B. Yeats. Continue reading

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Filed under Ireland, Literature, Memories, Poems, Politics

More Joyce … old England is dying

[Again, something I posted on MyT before.]

Anastasia’s post on anti-Semitism reminded me of this extract from James Joyce’s Ulysses (published in 1922, set in 1904), which I posted here before. Ulysses, with its Jewish everyman hero or antihero Leopold Bloom, is a great work in many ways. The extract gives a flavour of the brilliant writing, sustained in many different styles in the course of the book … which is often very funny too.

Mr Deasy, a school headmaster, is holding forth to Stephen Dedalus, a young teacher and poet. It strikes me that if Mr Deasy were a real-life character and living now, he would be a very busy blogger. But Stephen is the clever one. Continue reading

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Filed under Literature, Philosophy of life

For Claire … end of ‘The Dead’

[posted originally on MyT] Today Cymbeline mentioned a story from James Joyce’s Dubliners (1914); coincidentally I had been thinking about another one earlier – ‘The Dead’.

In 1987 John Huston made this exquisite story into a beautiful film, starring his daughter Anjelica and Donal McCann. It was the veteran director’s last movie; he died later that year. McCann, a wonderful actor, died in 1999 aged just 56.

The end of the story is especially poignant. After a party in his elderly aunts’ house, Gabriel Conroy discovers that his wife has always harboured a love for a boy she knew in her native Galway when she he was young – he died at the age of 17, heartbroken at her imminent departure to Dublin. After she has fallen asleep, Gabriel remains awake with his thoughts: Continue reading

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Filed under Literature, Philosophy of life