Wonderful exploration: Writers of 'Baggotonia' celebrated

 

A BOOK about the history of Dublin’s left bank of writers in the Baggot Street area was described as a “wonderful celebration” of “national treasures”.

Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs Dinny McGinley was speaking last night at the launch of Prodigals and Geniuses - The Writers and Artists of Dublins Baggotoniaby Brendan Lynch,

He said the “insightful, thoughtful and informed writing” would bring the writers to a “whole new audience”.

It was the “best kept secret” that Dublin had a left bank area. The book was an “intriguing exploration” of an area that was “initially a stomping ground” for writers such as Oscar Wilde, Oliver St John Gogarty, W B Yeats, James Joyce and Samuel Beckett. he said.

The book would also give locals and visitors the scope to explore and enjoy Dublin’s Baggotonia in the future, he said.

The volume is based on interviews and contemporary accounts of the writers in the area and is the first to celebrate Dublin’s Unesco City of Literature award.

It looks at an area which saw four winners of Nobel Prize for Literature stay, W B Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney.

Later figures which also had an association with the area included Brendan Behan, Patrick Kavanagh, Flann OBrien, Frank O’Connor, JP Donleavy and Elizabeth Bowen while artist Frances Bacon was born on Baggot Street.

Prodigals and Geniuses: The Writers and Artists of Dublins Baggotoniaby Brendan Lynch is published by Liffey Press, recommended price €19.95.