Ireland: Birthplace of so many writers

Ross & me @ Writers Museum, Dublin

Our friend, Ross, who currently lives in Dublin (Ireland, not California, for local Bay Area folks) accompanied Dave and me to the Dublin Writers Museum.

The museum has a permanent display featuring Ireland’s most famous writers and also provides a more detailed audio tour that shares stories beyond what’s printed on the walls. It covers roughly 300 years of Irish literary tradition and includes such novelists, playwrights, and poets as Jonathan Swift, James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, and Samuel Beckett (who actually lived most of his writing life in France but was originally from Ireland).

Because it’s a museum that celebrates the written word, photos or paintings of writers hang above a scattering of artifacts, such as a typewriter (I don’t remember who it belonged to), letters, manuscripts, and journals.

I was intrigued with W.H. Auden’s romantic life. He pined for a particular woman for years and asked her several times to marry him, but she always refused. She had a daughter by someone else, and when that daughter became of age, Auden asked her to marry him. She also refused. Eventually he married someone else, so it’s not an unhappy ending.

One writer (perhaps Oscar Wilde or Brendan Behan?) had written something in which the naughty bits were edited out. So he proceeded to hand-write them back into already published books. The audio guide didn’t specify which volumes he was able to correct, but I imagine him politely knocking on people’s doors asking them if they’d purchased his book, and if so, did they mind if he made a few post-printing edits?

Lollipop ManWe wandered upstairs where there either had been or was going to be a children’s literature exhibit because there was no signage, and a few pieces were either yet to be constructed or had been taken apart–it was difficult to tell which. Nobody was up there at all, so I took the liberty of snapping photos, which was not allowed in the permanent collection downstairs. Truthfully, the children’s book area was more colorful anyway…giant board book

I should have had Dave or Ross stand next to the giant board book to provide perspective, but that book was almost as tall as me!



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