A Literature Walk through Dublin

Oscar Wilde
Photograph taken in 1882 by 
Napoleon Sarony

Last week our “Dublin Literary Experience” course (ENG 335)took a walking tour of sights that were important in the time of the classic Irish writer, Oscar Wilde.  Wilde was born at 21 Westland Row in Dublin, the building is now owned by Trinity College.  Most think he was born at 1 Merrion Square, but his family actually moved there later in his childhood after his father made himself more wealthy.  We viewed both of these homes as well as a statue of Wilde located in Merrion Square.  
The statue of Wilde on a rock faces towards his home which I found interesting because he looks reflective and calm staring off into the distance.  There are two columns near the statue with quotes from his works engraved all over and a bust with a yellow carnation where the head would normally rest, since yellow was Wilde’s favorite color.  
We continued our walk and went into Sweny’s Chemist and saw a lot of James Joyce artifacts, we also learned you could go there and partake in readings of his poetry and other works.  The shop is entirely run by volunteers which was also amusing to hear about, people in Dublin really appreciate their classical literature.  
At the end of our walk we reached Trinity College. We viewed the outside of the campus as well as a few lecture halls and the Book of Kells and the Old library where students like Wilde might have studied and done their work.  All in all, it was fantastic to be able to walk the streets that Wilde once walked and see his past homes and university.  The classical literature scene in Dublin is very much alive even though the authors are long deceased.

-Alexa DeVivo
Communications Major, Champlain College, Class of 2014

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