Dah Duit (Hi) and welcome

Thought I'd toss in some Irish-Americans in to the mix

Father Coughlin, the radio priest

                                                        The wonderful Frank McHugh

Grace Kelly

Kevin Barry wins €100,000 Impac prize for literature

City of Bohane by Irish author Kevin Barry has won the 2013 International Impac Dublin Literary Award.

The award is organised by Dublin City Libraries, on behalf of Dublin City Council and sponsored by international management productivity company, Impac. Its €100,000 prize is the largest prize for a single novel published in English. The award receives its nominations from public libraries around the globe.

Barry is from Limerick and lives in Sligo. He is the author of two award winning short story collections. City of Bohane is his first novel. 

The other shortlisted novels were The Map and the Territory by Michel Houellebecq (France), Pure by Andrew Miller (UK), 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (Japan), The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka (US), The Tragedy of Arthur by Arthur Phillips (US), Swamplandia! by Karen Russell (US), From the Mouth of the Whale by Sjón (Iceland), The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am by Kjersti Skomsvold (Norway), and Caesarion by Tommy Wieringa (The Netherlands).

Barry is the third Irish author to win the prize. He follows Colm Tóibín who won in 2006 for The Master and Colum McCann in 2011 for Let the Great World Spin.

Himself


Old Dublin


How to Read Literature, by Terry Eagleton



As a teacher I have never been fond of sublime questions. What is truth? What is literature? When I think of the latter question I content myself with the answer that a work of literature is a book I would happily read twice. Or even more often. I read a crime novel only when I buy one at the airport before a transatlantic flight, and I discard it on arrival. But I can’t count how often I have read TS Eliot’s The Waste Land, WB Yeats’s Among School Children and Jane Austen’s Emma. Brahms, when Carmen was first produced in Vienna, in 1876, went to see it 20 times.

To read the complete article go to:  

http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/how-to-read-literature-by-terry-eagleton-1.1435430

Release of Springfield Mass. area resident Michael Carney's 'Great Blasket'

From MassLive
Written by Anne -Garard Flynn


http://www.masslive.com/living/index.ssf/2013/06/james_joyces_blooms_day_release_of_springfield_resident_michael_carneys_great_blasket_memoir_make_gr.html


This weekend looms large in Irish literature, as Michael Lonergan, the Republic of Ireland’s Consul General to Boston, noted on a stop in Springfield. 

Internationally, June 16 is Bloom’s Day when venues around the world read James Joyce’s epic “Ulysses.” June 16, 1904 is the time frame of the somewhat autobiographical novel in which Leopold Bloom, the main character, takes the reader on a cerebral walkabout of Dublin that ends in an affirmation of love and life. 

Locally, June 15 is the state-side release date for Springfield area resident Michael Carney’s book, “From the Great Blasket to America: The Last Memoir by an Islander,” written with son-in-law Gerald Hayes. The event brought Lonergan to the campus of Elms College, in Chicopee, where the theater in Alumnae Library was packed in the morning with attentive listeners - some with similar heritage - to pay tribute to Carney and the Great Blasket’s contribution to Gaelic-Irish literature. 

Carney released his book last month in Ireland during a much celebrated event at The Blasket Island Centre in Dunquin, County Kerry, a center that he helped fund through the establishment of a foundation. Carney’s son and three daughters and their families were all in attendance, and accompanied him on the ferry boat for the mile-journey to the Great Blasket, where Carney was raised on the rugged island that is no longer inhabited. 

While there were few amenities on the island, a fact that brought tragedy to Carney’s own family, there was a rich cultural and communal life rooted in the Irish language. In time, scholars from the top universities in the British Isles came to study and record the life of the islanders, whose legendary authors writing in Gaelic include Peig Sayers, Muiris O Suilleabhain and Tomas O Criomhthain. 

Carney writes about these authors in his memoir as well as the island’s way of life. As the oldest living Blasket native and veteran advocate for its heritage, he is treated as a national treasure in Ireland, and was awarded an honorary doctoral degree in Celtic literature from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, in 2009. 

Carney’s abilities as an intelligent and engaging storyteller are also evident in a video interview that is part of “The Irish Legacy: Immigration and Assimilation in the Connecticut Valley,” a current exhibit at the Wood Museum of Springfield History. His reference to the Great Blasket as an island of conversationalists and philosophers, where people survived by endurance and getting along with each other, offers insight into the speaker, still sturdy and well framed at 92, as well. 

Carney, who settled in the Hungry Hill section of Springfield in 1948, worked in Dublin for a number of years after the Great Blasket was evacuated in 1952. His book can be purchased online at www.collinspress.ie. 

Other area authors who have written about their Irish heritage include James Francis Cahillane, Carole O’Malley Gaunt, Kevin O’Hara, Sister of St. Joseph of Springfield Judith Kappenman, the late Judge Daniel M. Keyes, and Joan Morris Reilly.

Sotheby's to offer on important 20th century literary manuscripts




LONDON.- On 10 July 2013, Sotheby's London will write a new chapter in literary history, when it offers one of the most important 20th century working manuscripts remaining in private hands - Samuel Beckett's first novel, "Murphy".

Irish-born Beckett, “the last modernist”, was the author of a body of work steeped in the western literary tradition but with its own highly distinctive voice. Handwritten in six exercise books between August 1935 and June 1936, in Dublin and London whilst Beckett was undergoing psychoanalysis, the manuscript, initially entitled "Sasha Murphy" is heavily revised throughout - the hundreds of cancellations and revisions providing an eloquent witness to Beckett's struggle to give form to his artistic vision. 

The notebooks are also full of lively doodles hinting at the author's preoccupations during this period, including recognisable portraits of James Joyce, Beckett himself, and Charlie Chaplin (later an influence on the tramps in Waiting for Godot), as well as astrological symbols and musical notations. The centrepiece in Sotheby’s sale of English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations, the manuscript is estimated to realise £800,000 - £1.2 million.
Peter Selley, Sotheby's Senior Specialist in Books and Manuscripts commented: “This is unquestionably the most important manuscript of a complete novel by a modern British or Irish writer to appear at auction for many decades. I have known about the existence of this remarkable manuscript for a long time – as have a number of others in the rare book business, and some Beckett scholars – but it has only been glimpsed, tantalizingly, by a few chosen individuals during that time. The notebooks contain almost infinite riches for all those – whether scholars or collectors – interested in this most profound of modern writers, who more than anyone else, perhaps, captures the essence of modern man. The manuscript is capable of redefining Beckett studies for many years to come.”

The novel is characterised by exuberant language and is the most comic of all Beckett’s works, although it also has deep philosophical roots. The plot concerns the eponymous Murphy’s attempts to find peace in the nothingness of the “little world” of the mind without intrusion from the outside world. Spurred on to find employment by his prostitute girlfriend, Murphy finds some tranquillity working in an insane asylum before accidentally immolating himself in his garret. Mostly set in shabby lodgings in London, with some chapters set in Dublin (where a strange trio of characters start a fruitless search for Murphy), this is the closest that Beckett ever came to a novel in the realist tradition.

The manuscript provides a text that is substantially different from the printed version of "Murphy" of 1938. It includes at least eight cancelled versions of its famous opening sentence before it reached its final form (“The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.”) Beckett dated each entry in the exercise books, giving a fascinating glimpse of his working processes and the flows - and droughts - of his inspiration.

When Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969 it was, according to the citation, “for his writing, which - in new forms for the novel and drama - in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation." He produced a body of work of extraordinary strangeness, which presents a world view of deep pessimism, but blessed with a wonderful mordant humour. 

Although dense and demanding, his works speak powerfully to a remarkably wide audience of their common human experience. Best known for "Waiting For Godot", his stage play of 1953, Beckett’s writing emerged from the intellectual ferment that gave rise to existentialism and absurdism. His deep connections with the inter-war avant-garde have led him to be characterised as “the last modernist”. His greatest early influence was Joyce, with whom he became friendly in Paris in the late 1920s. He helped Joyce with research, took dictation for him, contributed an essay to the 1929 collection of essays on "Work in Progress", and even became romantically entangled with Joyce’s daughter Lucia. 

In the early 30s Beckett struggled to overcome Joyce’s influence and find his own voice; or, as Beckett himself put it in a 1931 letter, “I vow I will get over J. J. ere I die. Yessir”.
Beckett’s many admirers have always struggled to explain the power of his work, contrasting the austere beauty of his language with the base ugliness of his subject-matter – cheap boarding rooms and mental asylums, tramps, dustbins, the decayed and the dying – and his pessimistic vision of destitution and isolation.


"I'll buy his goods, hook, line, and sinker,” declared Harold Pinter, “because he leaves no stone unturned and no maggot lonely. He brings forth a body of beauty. His work is beautiful.”

Kevin Barry wins €100,000 Impac prize for literature

Kevin Barry wins €100,000 Impac prize for literature
City of Bohane by Irish author Kevin Barry has won the 2013 International Impac Dublin Literary Award.
The award is organised by Dublin City Libraries, on behalf of Dublin City Council and sponsored by international management productivity company, Impac. Its €100,000 prize is the largest prize for a single novel published in English. The award receives its nominations from public libraries around the globe.
Barry is from Limerick and lives in Sligo. He is the author of two award winning short story collections. City of Bohane is his first novel.
"I’m thrilled to see an Irish author of such immense talent take home this year’s award,” said Lord Mayor of Dublin, Naoise Ó Muirí, who announced the winner at a ceremony in Dublin's Mansion House last night. “City of Bohane is a vivid, atmospheric portrayal of a city in the West of Ireland set in the future but mired in the past. The highly original cast of characters are at once flamboyant and malevolent, speaking in a vernacular like no other.”
The winning novel was up against 153 other titles, nominated by 160 libraries from 44 countries. It was first published in the UK by Jonathan Cape. . It is open to novels written in any language and by authors of any nationality, provided the work has been published in English or English translation in the specified time period as outlined in the rules and conditions for the year.
The other shortlisted novels were The Map and the Territory by Michel Houellebecq (France), Pure by Andrew Miller (UK), 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (Japan), The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka (US), The Tragedy of Arthur by Arthur Phillips (US), Swamplandia! by Karen Russell (US), From the Mouth of the Whale by Sjón (Iceland), The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am by Kjersti Skomsvold (Norway), and Caesarion by Tommy Wieringa (The Netherlands).
Barry is the third Irish author to win the prize. He follows Colm Tóibín who won in 2006 for The Master and Colum McCann in 2011 for Let the Great World Spin.
“The fact that this award originates with the libraries is what makes it very special for me – libraries are where we learn that we can live our lives through books,” said Barry.
“Kevin Barry's Ireland of 2053 is a place you may not want to be alive in but you'll certainly relish reading about,” said the judges. “This is not a future of shiny technology but one in which history turns in circles and quirks an eyebrow at the idea of 'progress'.”
City of Bohane was nominated by Cork, Dublin and Limerick City Libraries.


Note


Sorrow by Aubrey De Vere (1814-1902)




Count each affliction, whether light or grave, 
God's messenger sent down to thee; do thou 
With courtesy receive him; rise and bow 
And ere his shadow pass thy threshold, crave 
Permission first his heavenly feet to lave 
Then lay before him all thou hast : Allow 
No cloud of passion to usurp thy brow, 
Or mar thy hospitality; no wave 
Of mortal tumult to obliterate 
The soul's marmoreal calmness: Grief should be, 
Like joy, majestic, equable, sedate; 
Confirming, cleansing, raising, making free; 
Strong to consume small troubles; to commend 
Great thoughts, grave thoughts, thoughts lasting to the end.

Dublin of old