Saturday, 9 June 2012

Days of Books in Dublin

I've been in Ireland for over ten days now and I've spent quite a few days in the City of Literature enjoying the booky delights on offer.

A high priority was to see the real Book of Kells which has been so familiar in reproduction.  It is housed in the Old Library of Trinity College with the equally stunning Book of Armagh and Book of Durrow.  The Long Room upstairs had many other illuminated manuscripts and Book of Days on display. It was the most amazing library I have ever seen with over 200,000 beautiful very old leather bound books in the shelves.

A real highlight for me was having the opportunity to visit the Chester Beatty Library in a part of Dublin Castle. Displayed over two floors, the first level is devoted to the art of the book and the second level to religious texts and books.  Such a wonderful collection of historical books ranging from fragments of an Egyptian Book of the Dead, illustrated Chinese and Japanese scrolls, beautifully illuminated Islamic books and Korans, Greek manuscripts, European illuminated manuscripts and Books of Days, other Asian concertina books, beautifully bound leather books and bindings, etchings by Goya and engravings by Albrecht Durer.  It was such a delight I went back a second time.

I've enjoyed the literary ambience of Dublin with the statues of its most well known writers waiting to be discovered.  The Dublin Writers Museum was interesting and I loved a room in the National Gallery devoted to Irish artists and containing a smaller room showing paintings of locations in Dublin paired with texts by James Joyce.

Another treat was a visit to the National Library of Ireland to see the WB Yeats exhibition - a very large exhibition covering every aspect of Yeat's life and his work.  The layout of the exhibition contained a number of small rooms showing different videos.  It was very interactive and extremely well presented.  I was enthralled by a little room near the entrance where you could sit and listen to well known people reading a selection of Yeats poems which were also projected onto see-through fabric screens.   My favourite poem 'Easter 1916' was one of the poems that were recited and I sat through the whole loop to hear it a second time.  It was truly inspirational.


rObfOs said...

Sounds like a marvelous experience Helen, so glad you're enjoying your adventure.

Vicki said...

It is so nice to travel and gorge on all that you love. Enjoy your trip!

Helen M said...

Thanks Robyn and Vicki,I am really enjoying the trip in spite of the dreadful weather, but then it's good for spending time in museums and galleries. I'm in London at the moment and off to Paris in a couple of days.

Helen M said...
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