Sunday, 27 October 2013

Anthony Cronin... Connections between two Bloomsdays

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Donal, Director of Bloomsday in Bruff, with Anthony Cronin at Cuisle in Limerick on 26th October 2013.
Don't miss the wonderful video at the end of this post: scroll down!
Anthony Cronin (born 1928 in EnniscorthyCounty Wexford) is an Irish poet, novelist, biographer, critic, commentator and arts activist. He received the Marten Toonder Award (1983) for his contribution to Irish literature.
He is a founding member of Aosdána, was elected Saoi of Aosdána in 2003 and is a member of its governing body, the Toscaireacht. From 1966-68, he was a visiting lecturer University of Montana and from 1968–70, Poet in Residence at Drake University. He had a weekly discourse, 'Viewpoint', in the Irish Times from 1974–80. He has written biographies of Brian O'Nolan and Samuel Beckett. Arts activist who persuaded Charles Haughey - he was cultural and artistic adviser to the former Taoiseach - to found Aosdána and support struggling writers, composers and artists with the annuity known as the Cnuas. Involved in organising the first ever Bloomsday celebration. Produced television programmes including ‘Between Two Canals’ and ‘Flann O’Brien - Man of Parts’.

Bloomsday (a term Joyce himself did not employ) was invented in 1954, on the 50th anniversary of the events in the novel, when John Ryan (artist, critic, publican and founder of Envoy magazine) and the novelist Brian O'Nolan organised what was to be a daylong pilgrimage along the Ulysses route. They were joined by Patrick KavanaghAnthony Cronin, Tom Joyce (a dentist who, as Joyce's cousin, represented the family interest) and AJ Leventhal (Registrar of Trinity College, Dublin). Ryan had engaged two horse drawn cabs, of the old-fashioned kind, which in Ulysses Mr. Bloom and his friends drive to poor Paddy Dignam's funeral. The party were assigned roles from the novel. They planned to travel round the city through the day, visiting in turn the scenes of the novel, ending at night in what had once been the brothel quarter of the city, the area which Joyce had called Nighttown. The pilgrimage was abandoned halfway through, when the weary pilgrims succumbed to inebriation and rancour at the Bailey pub in the city centre, which Ryan then owned, and at which, in 1967, he installed the door to No. 7 Eccles Street (Leopold Bloom’s front door), having rescued it from demolition. A Bloomsday record of 1954, informally filmed by John Ryan, follows this pilgrimage.
Watch the wonderful short film clip here

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