Dublin – you’re the one!

Apparently, Dublin is the City of Literature. Dublin is one of the four (!) cities in the world that have been designated as a UNESCO city of literature. It is time for me to grasp this fact and cherish it! Many good writers are from Dublin, wrote about Dublin or are in some way connected with Dublin. James Joyce is one of them (obviously!) with his most famous work Ulysses (haven’t read it yet – shame on me – only started it when I had to put it away again for the lack of time – what a bad excuse). Another famous Irish writer/poet is W.B. Yeats. The Irish are very proud of him. I didn’t know him before I came here but then I had to come across his poems. They are extraordinary! The one about the Easter Rising in 1916 touched me most. Here is a link to it: http://www.easter1916.net/peom.htm There is also a good exhibition about him in the National Library which very much impressed me. It is mainly about his life but there is also a nice little room where you can listen to some of his poems recorded by some professionals. Then there is Oscar Wilde. Ever heard of Dorian Gray? I love that book – it’s a great read! Don’t watch the movie, read the book! It’s funny and tragic at the same time. Whenever I think of Oscar Wilde, the same feelings in me arise, his only novel creates. He was a great writer but also came to a tragic end. Probably dying from the exhaustion of hard labour in prison after being convicted of “sodomy”(meaning homosexuality), some of his last words were: “My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or other of us has got to go.”
I don’t have that many literature courses this semester (only two, if you count the German class in) but I’m taking a creative writing class instead and I’m going to do an Irish history course and an Irish for Beginners class. It seems all very interesting and after all my one English literature course contains literature by Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, Joseph Conrad, Henry James (how did this American make it into this list?) and Wilkie Collins. This seems quite enough already and I’m not complaining! My plan is to seize the moment (carpe diem!) and make the most of it! Slán!

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One week left

It is the 23rd of November and tomorrow will mark the start of week 12, the last week of college this semester. So far, I have read about ten books and 20 poems, I took 7 quizzes and three tests, not to forget I wrote my two essays. I have never done so much reading in such a short time before. My essay about The Italian got a good mark and now I just hope that my research for insincerity (Unaufrichtigkeit) in Mansfield Park will be appreciated as well. But I had to realise that it is not at all easier to write about something you already knew about a lot. Though Mansfield Park is not my favourite book by Jane Austen, I knew it quite well already and therefore I thought I could come up with ideas much quicker. However, of course I had to do the same research for it like I would have had to for any other work. Insincerity is a big issue in Mansfield Park – have you ever heard of Mrs. Norris?? If you don’t know the original, think of the cat – Filch’s cat! – in Harry Potter and you will know her character. JK Rowling is apparently a fan of Jane Austen.
Anyway, during my research I came across the play Lovers’ Vows which is performed within the novel and I found out that it was originally a German play, written by a man named Kotzebue (horrible German name). The original play is called Das Kind der Liebe and seems to have suffered many alterations when transferred into the English version by a Mrs. Inchbald. She basically says it wasn’t suitable for an English audience because the Germans are too direct and don’t know anything about proper behaviour. It had to be softened. I couldn’t get my hands on the original yet, but you can find the English version for free on Amazon. I sincerely recommend it!
Last week I went to see the Musical Society from UCD perform Bonny & Clyde – it was fantastic! They did some good acting and singing!