Chicago, Walden & Civil Disobedience
Henry Claridge looks back to Chicago in 1970 to highlight the ongoing influence of the works of ...
Today is St Patrick's day - an event which now seems to be embraced by the English as much as it is by the Irish. It also seems to have become, to some extent, an excuse for a drink or several far more than a celebration of Irish culture. Which is a shame, as there is much to celebrate, especially in the world of literature. The lineage of great Irish novelists and playwrights is well known and widely revered. We're proud to publish the works of some of the very best here.
Perhaps the most famous of all, certainly the most influential, is James Joyce, who, in the early part of the 20th Century wrote a series of books that are not only recognised as classics, but actually changed the course of literature.
The Dubliners (a collection of short stories), Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Finnegan's Wake and his 1922 landmark work, Ulysses, are dizzying in their experimentation.
And all, despite the fact that Joyce actually moved to continental Europe in 1904, are set in Ireland - specifically, Dublin. In Ulysses, the city is a central character. The detail with which he describes the streets, broad and narrow, is epic, as we spend a day (June 16th, 1904) with Leopold Bloom. You can go on walking tours, like this one, retracing his steps.
Another writer from the Irish canon to feature heavily in our catalogue is Oscar Wilde, who actually completes a quadruple for us, appearing as a novelist (The Picture of Dorian Gray) a poet (De Profundis, The Ballad of Reading Gaol & Others), a playwright (Plays of Oscar Wilde) and a children's author (Happy Prince & Other Stories).
If you look close enough, you'll see more. Bram Stoker (Dracula), Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels) and Robert Tressell (The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists) - all Irish. And all worth celebrating.