Oscars and Yeatses

Wilde

I can’t decide if the Wilde statue in Merrion Square is so tacky that Wilde would hate it, or tacky enough that he would like it. Which may be the point.

Speaking of Oscars, the final question in the literary pub crawl quiz was: which of the Irish Nobel laureates also won an Academy Award?

And speaking of Yeatses, on my final morning in Dublin I went to the National Gallery (cloaking bags till the flight to London) and got very lost looking for the Jack Yeats section. Jack was William Butler Yeats’ brother, and I mostly knew his work from it being used for the covers of 70s Penguin editions of Dubliners and so on. The paintings, especially the later, more expressionist ones, are glorious in real life: they do not reproduce well at all. Despite that I bought a small print of “Grand Conversation Under the Rose” at the shop. The painting depicts a clown and a female stunt-rider having a conversation over a cup of tea backstage at a circus; normally I don’t like paintings of horses or clowns but this one is an exception. I think it’s the way the clown is sipping his tea.

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