Celebrating Cultures, Promoting Integration
Ireland: The Country of Writers
Do you know Meave Binchy? I first heard about Ireland in one of her novels and that was the first time I also discovered an Irish writer. As far as I remember, I was in high school and after reading the novel Tara Road, I curiously read other novels of hers. I read books of different authors, Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeates; You’ll think about his poems for a week. These are just some of the great writers.
My main aim is not to introduce these valuable authors who have become a historical collection of literary material themselves. I just want to ask myself this question: Why did all these authors come from Ireland? I am not the first person to ask this question, and I do not think I will be the last person. There has been a lot of research on this before, many people talk about it. Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats, James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett, and many other creative writers have written more articles about Dublin than about any other city. The authors usually spoke against their birthplaces. “The love I hear in Ireland does not cover the capital,” Bernard Shaw said with his arrogance (he chose to live in England, of course).
When I first came to Ireland during Christmas last year and I started to take steps in the streets, I wondered why so many great authors came from here. I watched as the steps went by: The people, the streets and the air. For those who do not know, Ireland hosts a white and misty air most of the time. I thought about the first time I came to Ireland again. I was looking for something in the streets. I think this is the effect of white and misty air. The sky in Ireland is always white and paused and perhaps one of the most beautiful things to do in this weather is to write something. Some of the researchers have said that the library of Trinity College has a big influence on this. Oscar Wilde and many great authors attended this college. A magnificent place this library is, endless, like our minds.
William Butler Yeats
‘’When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars. ‘’
Yeats is one of the first poets who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in Ireland. You can find his speech from the Nobel Prize award he received in 1923 from this link.
Gulliver’s Travels/ Book by Jonathan Swift
The writer Jonathan Swift was well known for Gulliver’s Travels. I think almost everyone knows this book. I want to share an interesting piece of knowledge with this piece that has entered the world’s classrooms. Two hundred years after Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, which features two fictional Mars moons, one of the craters found on Deimos (a real moon discovered orbiting Mars) was named after Swift.
Swift donated his assets to mental patients; in 1747, a mental hospital was established with his assets.
From his headstone:
Here lies the body of Jonathan Swift, Doctor of Divinity and Dean of this Cathedral,
Where savage indignation can no longer lacerate his heart;
Go traveller and imitate if you can, this dedicated and earnest champion of liberty
He died on the 19th October 1745, aged 77 years
‘Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.’
‘Fail again fail better’ says one do the best authors of the 20th century, Samuel Beckett. In 1969 he got the Nobel Prize for Literature. He commemorated it with the poem “Gnome”, which was inspired by his reading of Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship and eventually published in The Dublin Magazine in 1934:
‘Spend the years of learning squandering
Courage for the years of wandering
Through a world politely turning
From the loutishness of learning’
You can read about all the streets of Dublin in James Joyce’s books. In his books he makes portrayals so it takes you all around the city. Even the pharmacy which is one of his books is still standing today.
‘Mistakes are the portals of discovery.’
‘I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day.’
‘When I die Dublin will be written in my heart.’
There are so many things that we can say or write about Oscar Wilde, unfortunately I can’t write everything about him. That’s why I decide to share just his amazing works.
‘Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.’
-The Ballad of Reading Gaol-
‘Each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!
Some kill their love when they are young,
And some when they are old,
Some strangle with the hands of Lust,
Some with the hands of Gold:
The kindest use a knife, because
The dead so soon grow cold.
Some love too little, some too long,
Some sell, and others buy;
Some do the deed with many tears,
And some without a sigh:
For each man kills the thing he loves,
Yet each man does not die.’
“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. “