recent piece in this
publication about James Joyce started me thinking
about the role of culture in our national life. It
is nothing short of remarkable that a nation which
suffered colonial oppression until as recently as
1998, was nevertheless able to punch above its weight
in the world of letters. Joyce is perhaps one of the
clearest examples, and although he belongs to the
world, he is also very much a part of Ireland. Thousands
join the Bloomsday celebrations every year, many more
visit the Martello Tower or visit what is known as
Joyce Country in the wilds of Connemara. Some even
read the books. It is no exaggeration to say Ireland
loves Joyce as much as Joyce loved Ireland.
play an important part in the life of the nation and
we have indeed been blessed with an abundance of literary
talent; Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, Danny Morrison
- the list goes on. Morrison, perhaps our greatest
living writer, is a case in point. Together with his
good friend, Gerry Adams, they perform an important
function as they immortalise in art the historical
struggle for freedom that has so recently ended. In
both cases, their work rewards close attention as
each in his own way paints a picture of the conflict
so vivid, that it is sometimes hard to believe that
they were not there themselves.
course, we are nothing if not democratic in our outlook.
In art, as in life everyone has their part to play.
Our people love to write, whether you choose prose
or poetry, journalism or the Andersonstown News,
everyone has a hidden talent. I myself have always
considered myself biased towards the more authentic,
traditional aspects of our culture (Riverdance, the
Corrs and such) but even I have heard the siren call
of the muse, and am proud to announce that I have
been asked to write the foreword to Bobby Storey's
new volume of poetry.
the Blanket has the odd good piece now and
Index: Current Articles + Latest News and Views + Book Reviews +
Letters + Archives