Lest one should think that a trip to Dublin is 100% Ulysses-based, rest assured one can see quite a few other things if one is so inclined.
Like The Gresham Hotel where the ending of Joyce’s ‘The Dead’ takes place with that incredible last line (sorry, about the spoilers)
Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, further westwards, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling too upon every part of the lonely churchyard where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.
Best last line of a short story ever – also, my favorite story ever (apologies to Carver and his cathedrals).
And while we’re talking about The Dead, here’s the location of the party that Gabriel attends:
which is right across from the James Joyce bridge!
Hmmm I did say this wasn’t going to be all about Joyce didn’t I?
Okay so one of the other really cool things that Dublin has is a recreation of Francis Bacon’s studio at Reece Mews in London. I saw the outside of the studio when I was in London but what can only be described as “the mess” of the studio is pretty famous. So I was delighted to find out that the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin (which is FREE!) has reassembled said “mess”
Dublin also has some great monuments, like the infamous Spire of Dublin (local nicknames include the “Stiletto in the Ghetto” and the “Erection at the Intersection” – cheeky Irish!)
And the James Joyce statue (there he is again!) lovingly known as The Prick with the Stick
Of course the infamous Molly Malone – The Tart with the Cart
And the wonderfully sarcastic Oscar Wilde statue – The Queer with the Leer
Wait you can’t really see his leer there – this one is better
Dublin also has really fantastic museums, like the Charles Beatty Library where I saw a piece of the Book of the Dead and some gospel that were written on parchment oh a mere 60 years after Jaysus Christ. We also went to Marsh’s Library where they have a table that Joyce wrote at AND actual cages where they used to lock people in with the books. That’s a rather inventive way to combat theft. We also headed out to Trinity College, home of the famous Book of Kells and the Long Library
And no trip to Dublin would be complete without taking a little time out to relax in St. Stephen’s Green
We even managed to get out of the city to see Sandycove, where Ulysses begins. The Irish Sea is beautiful
And I got to see Jonathan Swift’s skull (and death mask). Seriously.
And finally finally finally, because they are so grand THE PUBS!
Cheers Dublin! I hope to see you again someday!