Dublin has been called the centre of the paralysis of the Universe, the second city of Empire, Scandaltown, Strumpet City, a series of accidental encounters, the largest village in Europe, the ﬁshy home of Molly Malone, and - occasionally - the capital of Ireland. Although Dublin has had a history that encompasses a huge range of human experience, Dublines is not a conventional historical presentation of the city's fascinating character, it is more a series of pictures and a choir of voices that together form a complex portrait of the city - from its venomous wit to its instinctive warm-heartedness, from its sick congestion to the expansive visions and statements of many of its sons and daughters. Questions implied in Dublines include: To what extent is Dublin still a little London? Is it in some ways a post-colonial parody of a genuine Irish city? Is it severed from the rest of Ireland, smugly unaware in its conscious and unconscious egotism, condescending even when its mediocrity is obvious? Or has it a character all its own?This anthology has been compiled not in a spirit of judgement but in a spirit of fair-mindedness. In other words, readers of this book will, when they've read it, have their own view of Dublin through the ages and the rages, the poverty, power, opulence, elegance, ugliness, congestion, gossip, disease, beggary, nightmares, revolutions and renewals of the city. Stodgy chronology is bypassed and a system of contrasts and comparisons, startling affinities and shocking oppositions is used to let the pictures and voices of Dublin have their say. The structure of the book reﬂects the relentless, scintillating talk, chat and gossip of the city. Here are Dublin's voices of the centuries: novelists, poets, talkers, dramatists, historians, wanderers, anecdotalists, tourists, short story writers and chroniclers of all kinds. Dublin is a city that produces and cherishes its famous characters; but the most enduring character of all is Dublin herself.Every Dub is Dublin's leading authority on Dublin. To avoid arguments, neither of the editors of Dublines is from Dublin (but both have lived in the city for most of their lives). Brendan Kennelly, a Kerryman, is one of Ireland's best-known poets and Professor of Modern Literature at Trinity College Dublin. Katie Donovan, poet, critic and Dublin journalist, is from Wexford. First word on this book from a Dub friend of theirs: 'Sure, what would a pair o' culchies know about Dublin? Yez are only a pair of blow-ins.' Read on for their answer...
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