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IRELAND | Sunday, 3 August 2014 | Views [568]

Illumination from the Book of Kells

Illumination from the Book of Kells

DUBLIN TODAY WAS MUCH AS I IMAGINED IT would be, probably not much different from the time of James Joyce.  Our goals on this rainy Saturday were modest; a look at Dublin Castle and a visit to the Trinity College library to see the Book of Kells, not even stopping for the traditional pint of Guinness.


    Queue for Trintiy Library

We joined the queue of umbrellas waiting outside the library to see the sole copy of the Book of Kells, a fitting full-circle finale to our time in Ireland, which ironically began in Scotland.  The famous illuminated manuscript, the first and most famous of its kind, was begun during the tenure of St. Columb at Iona in the 7th Century.  It’s  wonder that the parchment folios even survive let alone in such pristine condition.


     Chihuli/Leslie celebrate Ulysses

Dublin Castle has quite a place in Ireland’s struggle for independence, what with the Risings and Troubles and all, but it isn’t overly awe-inspiring.  Truth be told, few Irish  “castles” are worthy of the name.  We did, however, enjoy the special exhibit Ulysses, a tribute in blown glass to the seminal work of Dubliner James Joyce.  I never got very far into Ulysses; it’s just too daunting but we are fans of Dale Chihuli, the master glass-blower, who teamed with painter (and Joyce fan) Seaver Leslie to chronicle a day, June 16, 1904, in the life of Leopold Bloom.  It was inspiring but probably not enough to make me take another shot at Joyce.


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