JOYICITY: The Festival Bloomsday Montréal Newsletter

Waking The Feminists

Dublin’s Abbey Theatre program, Waking the Nation, begun in 2015 to commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising featured only 1 of 10 plays written by a woman, and 3 of 10 directed by women. This can be viewed as a remarkable paradox in retrospect partly given the now-documented role of women in the 1916 Rising and in the history of the Abbey Theatre founded by W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory in 1904.

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Proof of Synchronicity? William Blake, Nausicaa and the ‘Mystery of the Cave’

From the moment I laid eyes on the book William Blake by Kathleen Raine I knew that I had to have it. I was immediately hooked by the artwork of Blake (1757-1827) whose images slowly revealed themselves to my mind’s eye like those cunning illusions in the Magic Eye books I so loved as a kid. This had also been my experience of reading Joyce’s Ulysses, multiple times.

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The Parthenon of (Forbidden) Books

As part of the art fair Documenta 14 held in Kassel, Germany the Argentinian artist Marta Minujín had made to be built in Kassel’s Friedrichsplatz a 1:1 scale version of the Athenian Parthenon. The books chosen were titles which at some time or place had been suppressed or censored. It was the Parthenon of (Forbidden) Books.

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Samuel Beckett’s Wartime Years: A Review of Jo Baker’s A Country Road, A Tree

Jo Baker’s A Country Road, A Tree (2016) is an exciting and moving novel detailing Samuel Beckett’s experiences in occupied France during World War Two. Though it is a fictionalized account, Baker did extensive research before writing the book, and the final product is a strange and beautiful mixture of historical events and imagined or inferred encounters.

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