Arise Kilnamanagh and take your place among the nations of the earth

Dublin, perhaps uniquely, has suffered mythologization by genius and by sentimentality. Caught between Leopold Bloom and the Leprachaun Museum (yes, there is), the city of Dublin, the living breathing people and the physical structures they live in and on, has fallen out of sight. Joyce and Flann O’Brien caught its speech, but the one did it so perfectly people are afraid to read him, and the other was so accurate they think the humour is a laughing matter; James Plunkett wrote Dublin on a human scale and gave it flesh and blood characters, but is little known outside Ireland. We have ended up with Bloomsday and Paddy’s Day, the first now more kitsch than the second.

Karl Whitney has now written a book that gives us back Dublin as a city, not the set of a novel, or the battlefield of dreams of some misty eyed tourist in search of their heroic and downtrodden ancestors.
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Remembering to forget

Spurred by Elaine Byrne’s piece in the Guardian, discussed here, I have a longer piece in the Honest Ulsterman, so run over there and have a read.


The great streets thrown upon the little: Strumpet City

Strumpet City is a novel of Dublin in the early twentieth century: between the royal visit of 1907 and the hero’s departure for Flanders in 1914, a servant girl marries her sweetheart; the slum of her employer collapses; three priests contend for hegemony over the allegiance of Dublin’s poor; an ageing rake finds a cause; a labourer falls in love with a prostitute; a raggedy-arsed chorus of beggars are Godoted into comment by the shambles they see about them.
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British universities, is it?

I support the Council for the Defence of British Universities, but there is a slight issue with their images.

Their site includes this image:

Image

Dubliners, or those who have visited Dublin, will recognize the Campanile of Trinity College Dublin (I used to live just under the `of’). British university, is it?