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The Green Book 2
As I write this, the newly constructed bridge spanning the River Liffey here in Dublin remains yet unnamed. The short-list is comprised of five Dubliners and includes trade unionist Rosie Hackett, who participated in the 1913 Lockout; and camogie player Kay Mills. But one name among them will stand out to devotees of horror and gothic literature the world over: Bram Stoker.
Since Dracula was chosen for One City, One Book in 2009, public awareness of Stoker’s connections with Ireland (he was born in Dublin, so he was!), and Irish acceptance of his importance to world literature, has approached fever pitch. In addition to being short-listed for the new bridge, Dublin now hosts an annual Bram Stoker Festival, the first of which was held in 2012 to mark the centenary of Stoker’s death; the illuminating “Lost Dublin Journal”, edited by Elizabeth Miller and Dacre Stoker, saw publication; and Dublin UNESCO City of Literature proudly lists Stoker alongside Yeats, Shaw, Joyce, and Beckett. So too did the Stoker family rally to establish the Bram Stoker Estate, and embarked upon their mission to spread awareness of Bram Stoker’s life and achievements—and with a man like Stoker, even leaving Dracula aside, there’s much to explore.
But this interest in Stoker didn’t happen overnight: efforts to “repatriate” the author of Dracula as a Dubliner started as early as 1980 with the founding of the Bram Stoker Society. The tireless efforts of its members perhaps culminated with the installation of a memorial plaque dedicated to Stoker on Kildare Street. I should also point out that the Society’s journal, and its editorial decision to embrace the broader Irish fantastic, was a key influence on The Green Book’s similarly inclusive scope.
With Ireland’s pivotal genre writer increasingly recognised in the Irish literary world, now is the perfect opportunity to champion and bring to the fore Ireland’s other masters of the fantastic — their stories and novels.
The lead piece in this issue is Richard Dalby’s fascinating overview of the work of satirist Mervyn Wall, whose novel The Unfortunate Fursey is a wrongly neglected classic that is invariably held in high-regard by those who have read it. Albert Power gives us the second instalment of his on-going survey of Irish gothic literature, while Steve Gronert Ellerhof revisits Ray Bradbury’s often overlooked Irish novel Green Shadows, White Whale. And finally, in addition to numerous book reviews, I am pleased to present Nicola Gordon Bowe’s fascinating article on Lord Dunsany and his connections with the Irish Arts and Crafts Movement.
With Bram Stoker currently in the spotlight, now is the time to illuminate another gothic writer whose bicentenary we will celebrate next year. At the moment nothing official is planned by any local institution, so we may have to do it ourselves. Haven’t guessed? How about a clue . . .
Brian J. Showers
28 August 2013
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Brian J. Showers
"Mervyn Wall: Irish Author and Satirist"
"Towards an Irish Gothic: Part Two"
"The Long Reach of Green Shadows:
Ray Bradbury’s Memories of Ireland"
Steve Gronert Ellerhof
"Lord Dunsany 1878-1957: Portrait of a Collector"
Nicola Gordon Bowe
John Connolly's The Wanderer in Realms Unknown (Scott Connors)
Martin Hayes's Aleister Crowley: Wandering the Waste (Matthew Stocker)
Rosa Mullholland's Not to Be Taken at Bed-Time (Reggie Chamberlain-King)
Carlos Fuentes's Vlad: A Novel (David J. Skal)
Alan Corbett's Ghost of Shandon (Rosemary Pardoe)
Graham Tugwell's Everything is Always Wrong (Emily Bourke)
Nicola Gordon Bowe's Harry Clarke: The Life and Work (Jim Rockhill)
"Notes on Contributors"
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