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Talk by John S. Doyle “JAMES JOYCE, RATHGAR AND THREE LOST SONGS”
23 November 2017| €10
The talk is about three songs — all discovered by the present writer and previously unknown to the scholars — which throw light on the work of James Joyce and the city of Dublin. One comes from the Gaiety Theatre, another is from Rathmines, the third takes us to Glasnevin Cemetery. The songs are ‘Invisibility’, ‘The Rathmines Road’ and ‘Mackintosh [sic] in Dublin’.
The first is a pantomime song of which a fragment, recalled by Stephen Dedalus, appears in the opening pages of Ulysses, and starts a recurring theme of remorse and death. The second is a broadside from the mid-19th century, a halfpenny ballad of the kind sold at fairs, which treats in comic fashion the story of a couple who are too fond of the drink. The third is about a grave-robber who I believe was the inspiration for Macintosh, the mysterious character who makes various unexplained appearances through Ulysses, the first being at Paddy Dignam’s funeral. An apparent reference to the song in Finnegans Wake backs up the theory. The identity of Macintosh has not been spotted, it is believed, before now.
Tracing the discovery of the songs takes us through Dublin, from Rathgar in 1880 where Joyce’s parents met, to the porch of the National Library in the 1970s — which, as in the 1900s, was a place to chat, debate, flirt and smoke — to the rags and bones of the Cumberland Street market, off Parnell Street, in the 1980s.
John S. Doyle is a Dublin journalist. He presents It Says in the Papers on RTE’s Morning Ireland, the most listened-to radio programme in the country. In 1976 he and a few friends set up the magazine In Dublin, which he published for twelve years. In Dublin brought forth the talents of many of the leading writers, illustrators, cartoonists and photographers of the present time. He subsequently worked as a columnist, television critic and sub-editor for various national newspapers. He has made two documentaries for RTE Radio One.
Entry fee: 10 EUR par personne