Friday, 21 March 2014

A Literary Picture of…Dublin

Work opportunities, lifestyle and the ease of making friends are all key areas to consider when thinking about making the move abroad – but immersing yourself in the cultural heritage of your new country and city can also give you an amazing insight into what life might be like there.

We’ve already reviewed the cultural highlights of Barcelona but in this post we look at what literary Dublin can tell you about expat life in Ireland.

Image Source: creativecommons/matthewreld

The Book of Kells

Trinity College Dublin is home to the Book of Kells – an illuminated manuscript Gospel, thought to date from around 800 AD. The book is beautifully decorated and different pages are displayed every day in the very heart of the city.

This combination of Celtic art with Christianity is still important to Irish culture today with the city’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations and parade famous the world over and sure to be a highlight for any expat enjoying the festival for the first time.

Ulysses and Bloom’s Day

James Joyce’s 1922 novel Ulysses is synonymous with the city and its sights. Approximately 265,000 words long, the novel tells the story of one day (16th June 1904) in Dublin and devotees celebrate the anniversary of the day annually on the anniversary, following the footsteps of central character Harold Bloom in a celebration termed ‘Bloomsday’.

This means public readings, mass pub crawls to the drinking destinations mentioned in the novel and visits to the book’s central locations (including Eccles Street, the National Library of Ireland, Glasnevin Cemetery and the Westland Row Post Office).

Expats will find it a wonderful opportunity for getting to know the city and its geography while meeting locals and visitors from around the world, even if they haven’t quite managed to finish Joyce’s novel!

Theatrical Dublin

Dublin has a rich theatrical tradition – Ireland having been the birthplace of many playwrights, including Oliver Goldsmith, Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett, and English censorship laws in the nineteenth century meaning that many plays which were banned on the London stage were first produced in the city.

There are many theatres in modern day Dublin – some with a rich history, and others which are more recent additions - and any interested expats can enjoy a thriving dramatic scene.

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