Wednesday, August 3, 2011
VIEW FROM THE THIRD FLOOR
THE IRISH WRITERS'CENTRE is a marvellous resource in Dublin. It is opposite the garden of remembrance in Parnell Square, next to the Irish Writers Museum. On the ground floor is the administration and a room where writers can sit, in really comfortable chairs, and drink the best coffee I have drunk since coming to Dublin, made by two leprechauns in disguise, Fergall and John. The bookshelves are lined with Irish Literature.
On the second floor is a meeting room where "A Twitter of Wit' a brilliant Pastiche from Irish comedies is performed several times a week by two actors.. Then on the top floor are the classrooms. I go there every Friday afternoon for 'INKSLINGERS' a creative writing group . I also climb those three flights on Tuesday evening when Conor Kostick teaches us about writing a novel. It's worth the climb every time.
The photograph was taken from the third floor window, and was of a very noisy, but disciplined anti abortion rally. We had to close the double glazed windows in order to hear Charlie Connolly deliver what we had paid to attend, a workshop on travel writing. Later, as I waited at the traffic lights for the procession to pass I thought back to the time when world news was aghast at the plight of 'X' fourteen years old, raped by her father's friend, stopped from going to England for a termination recommended by doctors and psychiatrists.
So last night I sat in the third floor room again. Each Tuesday five people in Conor's class read a thousand words they have previously distributed by e mail. Conor then asks questions, making us justify details of the plot, characterisation, use of metaphor. He is a tough teacher. One of the extracts last night told of a fourteen year old girl in a Catholic school whose teacher, a nun, tried to have her class discuss the question of 'X's' dilemma, It was brilliantly written,showing the teacher nun's embarrassment, the uncaring inattention of most of the class and the bigotry of a few.
Another writer's excerpt was the start of a mystery novel, and opened with a priest taking the last confession for the day. And to my surprise I discovered that most of the group were not practising catholics. They had only hazy notions of what went on during confession.
Interestinger and interestinger!