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Our Top 5 Irish Literary Greats And Where To Find Them

If there is anything to be said about the Irish, it is that we are one of the most musical and poetic countries on the face of the planet. WE have spread our literature throughout the world via some of the most influential names ever put on paper. Below you will find out beloved addition to the world of writing who have shaped and carved the way in which we still write today. Our little island at the corner of the world has many achievement but this is one we can all be proud of.

Oscar Wilde

Irish playwright, novelist, essayist and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880's, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890's. He is remembered for his epigrams, his novel, The Picture of Dorain Gray, his plays, as well as the circumstances of his imprisonment and early death. One of the most quoted writers of all time and well known for his rather sensational lifestyle, Wilde had excelled at a very young age! Wilde died of cerebral meningitis that has been linked to CD's contracted through his "wild" (pardon the pun), sex life! You can visit where Wilde lived, No. 1 Merrion Square. You will even see a statue of Wilde relaxing on a large plinth at the corner of Merrion Square too! Wilde lived in the house until 1878, and more than a century later the building was taken over by the American College Dublin.

James Joyce

Irish novelist and poet. He contributed to the modernist avant-garde and is regarded as one of the most influential and important authors of the 20th century. Joyce is best known for Ulysses (1922), a landmark work in which the episodes of Homer's Odyssey are paralleled in an array of contrasting literary styles, perhaps most prominent among these the stream of consciousness technique he utilised. Other well-known works are the short-story collection Dubliners (1914), and the novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Finnegans Wake (1939). His other writings include three books of poetry, a play, occasional journalism and his published letters. Although Joyce lived most of his life abroad, you will find that he centres the majority of his works in Dublin. He is known to have said “If I can get the the centre of Dublin, I can get to the centre of any city in the world”. See? I told you we were poetic! Fascinated and want to know more? Head over to The James Joyce Centre 35 N Great George's St, Rotunda, Dublin 1 to learn more. Head over to reception if you need any help on getting there!

William Butler Yeats

Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, he helped the foundation of the Abbey Theatre (Which you can visit not too far from here), and in his later years served as an Irish Senator for two terms and was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival (Yes, that actually was a thing). What was truly remarkable was Yeats' ability to go against the church when approaching his death bed and defy the government and clergy in their denial of divorce as a legal right! We were quite archaic at the time! If you pop along to 18 Parnell Square you will find the Irish Writers Museum that will give you a deep insight as to his life and complete works. Ask at our reception for help on getting there!

George Bernard Shaw

Anglo-Irish playwright, critic, and polemicist whose influence on Western theatre, culture, and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond. He wrote more than sixty plays, including major works such as Man and Superman (1903), Pygmalion (1913), and Saint Joan (1923). He spent his life insisting on being called simply Bernard Shaw but despite his pedantic nature he was world renowned and received a nobel prize for his efforts. Two venues in town are named after him and are equally as successful and worth checking out. Pygmalion on South William Street is a popular haunt for the alternative and art elite of Dublin and The Bernard Shaw hosts a quirky array of events and is always simmering with interesting folk looking for people to talk to! You can visit the birthplace of George (I know he'd hate me using his first name..) at 33 Synge Street!

Samuel Beckett

Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, who lived in Paris for most of his adult life and wrote in both English and French. He is widely regarded as among the most influential writers of the 20th century. He gave away all the money from his Nobel Prize in the 60's in typical Beckett fashion. A large iconic landmark in the form of the Samuel Beckett bridge can be seen as the second last bridge before hitting Dublin Port and can be reached in a 10 minute walk from the hostel. Shaped like the emblem of Ireland, the harp, it shows how proud we are as a country of Mr Beckett.
So there you have it! Our top 5 literary greats of Ireland. We hope you enjoy them as much as we most definitely did!
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