Thursday, June 13, 2013

Kells and other books on my last day in Dublin

Sign at the Gutter Bookshop
(above); Shane MacGowan
mural, Adair Lane (right);
Bachelors Walk reflected
in the River Liffey from the

O'Connell Bridge (below). 
Photos by your humble
I spent part of my last day in Dublin looking at the Book of Kells, part listening to John Banville at the Smock Alley theatre, part buying books at the Gutter Bookshop, part drinking cider at the Palace Bar, and part cursing my impending return to Philadelphia and work.

Banville took questions from Olivia O'Leary in an interview to be broadcast on RTÉ Radio, then crossed the street to the Gutter to sign copies of Holy Orders, his latest novel written as Benjamin Black and featuring Quirke, a pathologist in 1950s Dublin.

Banville talked about Quirke, about the Black books, and about the novels he writes under his own name. He also revealed (a revelation to me, at least) that he used to be a newspaper sub-editor, what the English and Irish call a copy editor. Banville and I, that is, share a profession, and I am therefore obligated henceforth to consider him a blood brother.

Jim Larkin
My purchases from the Gutter included Kevin Barry's City of Bohane which, it transpires, is now award-winning. I may read that on the plane home, or else the history of the GAA. Or maybe, so help me, Lady Gregory's collection of Irish mythology.

How does it feel to be back? Go n-ithe an cat thú is go n-ithe an diabhal an cat! It's time to start planning my next trip.

© Peter Rozovsky 2013

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Blogger R.T. said...

I enjoyed Benjamin Black's earlier books (especially Vengeance), so I look forward to the newest. You now must certainly read the novels by your brother-in-ink. Have a safe trip. Philadelphia after Ireland must be -- well, you finish the sentence.

June 13, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

The one Benjamin Black novel I've read, A Death in Summer, contains some beautiful sentences and scenes but falls short when Banville remembers he's telling a crime story. I suspect such criticis, would not bother him terribly. He talked at some length about the primacy of the sentence.

June 13, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

I've been driving myself a little bit crazy because I already knew about City of Bohane, but I don't know if I read about it on a blog or if I actually have a galley of it around here somewhere. I hope it's the latter.

June 14, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

You might have read about it at Crime Always Pays. After I bought the book, I did a search to see if Declan had mentioned it. One of his interview subjects cited it as an Irish crime novel that would make a great movie, while adding that she was unsure its author would call it a crime novel--a good sign, I think.

June 14, 2013  
Blogger The Celtic Kagemusha said...

Funny that: all the time we were 'talking' about Westlake, you were probably no more than a stone's throw away from me


June 14, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I thought I might hear from you in response to one of my Dublin posts. Ah, well. The pints we'd have bought for each other will wait.

One Dublin sight I liked: A band of Hare Krishnas wailing and moaning in front of Penney's store next to the General Post Office--a sight free of the great deeds one normally associates with that historic building.

Considering the subject matter of this post, is anyone surprised that my verification words are:

Theatre agedsub

June 14, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

Yes, I looked back on Declan's blog, but I think it was something more than that. Maybe I saw a list of the nominees somewhere.

June 14, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I'm pleased to be able to say that I had not heard of the book. I just picked it up and liked its opening.

June 14, 2013  

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