How do you conjure up the roar of a tiger, a chilling arctic wind or the total blackness of outer space in a matter of seconds? Start by opening a book. A time machine or a train ticket, call it what you want - literature has the ability to take you wherever you want to go. Here are five books that will transport you straight to the streets of Dublin, ahead of your actual trip with the Internship Programme!
1. Ulysses by James Joyce
James Joyce's modernist masterpiece is by no means an easy read. It follows three characters during an ordinary day in Dublin, 16th of June 1904, also known by Joyce fans as Bloomsday. Each chapter is characterised by its own literary style and themes, while the whole novel parallels that of Homer's epic poem Odyssey, especially the experiences of Leopold Bloom and Odysseus, Molly Bloom and Penelope and Stephen Dedalus and Telemachus. Joyce has said that he "put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant", a statement that might have seemed arrogant at the time, but now appears to be perfectly in line with history.
2. Dubliners by James Joyce
If you are put off by the magnitude of Ulysses, Dubliners might be an easier introduction to James Joyce and Irish literature. It is a collection of short stories all set in Dublin, where the first part represents childhood, the second adolescence and the third adulthood. At a chaotic time when Ireland was scrambling for independence from the British as well as a comprehensible Irish narrative and definitions of what it means to be Irish, Dubliners emanated from the idea of the epiphany as a path to self-discovery and understanding.
3. The Gathering by Anne Enright
Anne Enright won the Man Booker Prize in 2007 for her fourth novel, The Gathering. The story follows the narrator's inner journey as she grieves her brother, who has taken his own life after succumbing to alcoholism. While at his wake, uncomfortable truths about her family starts to emerge. Enright deals with themes of love and loss, life and death, as well as Irish history and social issues, through painstakingly clear language that perpetuates the reader to traverse the same emotive landscape.
4. The Country Girls by Edna O'Brien
Following World War II, Ireland entered a repressive phase defined by traditional Catholic values. When Edna O'Brien's The Country Girls was published in 1960 it was banned by the Irish censor and her family's parish priest burnt copies of the novel, shaming her parents. The book chronicles the coming of age of two childhood friends, Cait and Baba, as they leave their small town for Dublin. It broke the silence on sexual matters and called into question social norms and taboo and is now considered a modern classic.
5. The Commitments by Roddy Doyle
Published in 1987, Roddy Doyle's modern classic is about a group of unemployed people in Dublin who start a soul band. It is the first part in the Barrytown Trilogy, which focuses on the different members of a working-class family. The book later became a film, which was celebrated for its fantastic soundtrack.
ADC College organises Internship Programmes in London and Dublin, eligible for funding from Erasmus+. Don't hesitate to contact us if you would like more information about what we do and how to get funding. Call a Country Manager today on +44 2084249424 or send a message to email@example.com.