Ulysses is a book in which everything happens and nothing happens. The story of a day in the life of a city — the Hibernian metropolis, as James Joyce saw Dublin — is a journey in a rambling flow of consciousness, where the very serious political issues of the day (the book is set on June 16, 1904) wrestle for space with the mundanities and excitement of the lives of his characters. Speaking of his appreciation for the book, Jeremy Corbyn noted how “Joyce references and richly describes what’s happening in the street. So somebody is holding forth about a big political issue and then the refuse cart goes by.” Edna O’Brien, one of Joyce’s finest biographers, has rightly maintained that “no other writer so effulgently and so ravenously recreated a city.”
Joyce is now eighty years dead, and yet his reputation as a writer whose work is difficult, even daunting to approach, remains. Anthony Burgess would insist that “If ever there was a writer for the people, Joyce was that writer,” yet others saw only pretension and inaccessibility in Joyce’s work, not least Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. Continue reading →
Serious joins with National Concert Hall, Dublin to present Lisa O’Neill – a songwriter like no other. Last year, she played for Serious in a sold out Union Chapel show, and was featured in our Imagining Ireland programme produced by Serious, National Concert Hall, Dublin, and Culture Ireland. Her Rough trade album, Heard A Long Gone Song, sees her remarkable voice breathing new life into traditional songs and has garnered huge acclaim both at home and abroad. Tackling songs passed through generations, some mixed with political messages giving a voice to a community, or dark tales of the past, Lisa performs all with ease.
‘Raw and unvarnished folk. Uncompromising, stunning, soul-shaking stuff’ (★★★★★ Guardian)