Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

A Different View

No better man than Joyce to coin a phrase

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

You’d have to feel sorry for the bloke in the Central Bank who made a pig’s ear of the new commemorative €10 coin that misquoted James Joyce.

Because it’s not hard to misquote a man who uses the coma as sparingly as the Fianna Fail Government used the Bank Regulator.

And – let’s call a spade a spade here – Joyce may well be a genius but most of us haven’t the first notion what in the name of God he’s going on about.

So if we didn’t lose track of things because of a deliberate lack of punctuation, chances are we’d miss out on a line or two through the sudden onslaught of sleep.

The erroneous lines on the front on the coin are taken from the beginning of chapter three of Ulysses, where Stephen Dedalus walks alone along Sandymount Strand reflecting.

What Joyce actually wrote: “Ineluctable modality of the visible: at least that if no more, thought through my eyes. Signatures of all things I am here to read.”

However, on the Central Bank coin the surplus word ‘that’ is inserted into the second sentence.

Now without being overly pedantic about it, one could argue that the use of ‘that’ actually improved the sentence – but criticising Joyce in literary circles here is akin to making a wisecrack about Kim Jong Un’s haircut in North Korea.

Perhaps the Central Bank would be better occupied trying to get us a better deal on our debt than minting tributes for Joycean aficionados – but given our penniless state, they’ve clearly committed bigger crimes than this one over the past decade.

Wouldn’t it have been a much bigger mistake if our unfortunate designer had put €20 instead of €10 on the coin and we accidently ended up devaluing them by half with the stroke of a metaphorical pen?

The only complication there is that this €10 coin was already retailing for €46, which only goes to show that there’s a fool born every minute – lashing out nearly five times the face value for a coin you’ll never spend unless you accidently divvy it up to a barman when you’re drunk.

But if our Central Bank pen-pusher had put in an extra zero or two at the end of it, we could have bought these coins ourselves for a tenner and then sold them to the Germans for a hundred – or even a thousand – thus making the first serious dent in our national debt.

Remember too that the Germans had a great fondness for Joyce – even if it was William instead of James – but wouldn’t it be nice to have the last laugh (the last Haw Haw if you like) on our old paymasters?

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Grandparents are the glue that became unstuck during Covid

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

IT goes without saying that lockdown has been hard for everyone – with the possible exception of hermits – but few have felt it more than grandparents, confined to barracks and deprived of those hugs from the grandchildren.

Looking at them through windows may only have made it worse, because little kids don’t understand why nana and granddad won’t come out; they don’t realise they want to, more than anything in the whole world.

This pandemic has given us plenty of time to reflect; a chance to remember what is truly important and what we should cherish instead of taking for granted.

And arguably, grandparents should be on top of that list.

You’ll have heard it said that being a grandparent is like you’ve been given a second chance; an opportunity to spend time in retirement with the next generation that work deprived you of when it came to your own.

There’s also a notion espoused by some of those grandparents that you love them more than your own kids, because this time, when you’re finished playing with them, you can give them back.

I never knew any of my four grandparents, because they were all dead before I was born. My own sons never knew my parents because they too had long departed before the next generation arrived.

But thankfully they did grow up with two grandparents as an integral part of their lives – and not just minding them, which they did with a commitment for which we will be ever grateful.

The measure of success in this department is that your children see your parents as just a part of the family; there’s an easy familiarity every time they meet, just like picking up the pieces without a second thought.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Home is still full of memories even when it’s an empty nest

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

We’ve all heard the phrase – and perhaps dread the concept; the empty nest, after the fledglings take flight and you’re left rattling around in a quiet house with just memories of those days of pandemonium and noise.

The social policy-makers would tell you that this is the time to downsize; save yourself the steps of the stairs and the cleaning, and cut down on the heating bills to enjoy your autumn days in accommodation more appropriate to your reduced needs.

And from a purely economic perspective, there’s merit in that. You have a house that’s now too big for you, and others can’t find a home of any size, let alone one sufficient for a full family – but that’s only one side of the argument.

The other is that your house is your home, and not because of its size – it’s because of its location, and your familiarity with its every nook and cranny. It’s also where those fly-away chicks still see as home, even if they’re now no more than occasional visitors.

As you grow older, familiarity is more important than ever; without the beautiful distraction of children, you grow even more dependent on neighbours and your community and the facilities you know on your old doorstep.

You know how long it takes to get to the shops or to the pub; you know you to give a spare key to in case you’re out when a delivery is due – or later on, if there’s a fear you might have a fall.

Your lifetime’s treasures – except for the children – are in your home; the sort of stuff others might see as clutter, but to you they are memories of holidays or graduations or births or marriages…those glory days that marked the chapters of your family life.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Authors’ pot luck – or insight into predicting a terrible future

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It’s eerie how some people can appear to have an ability to see into the future; forecasting an event or a phenomenon, years – sometimes even centuries – before it comes to pass.

Much was made this year of a number of books and movies that anticipated what we now know as the Coronavirus pandemic; predictions that even led to renewed interest in publications like Daniel Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year that goes back to 1722.

Edgar Allan Poe described a fictional epidemic at the centre of his short story, the Masque of the Red Death.

“No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its avatar and its seal—the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains and sudden dizziness and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution.”

More recently, Albert Camus’ the Plague explored the human toll of epidemics back in 1947 – and of course, the end of the world has been the subject of more movies than almost anything else.

But that’s not really suggesting they have some incredible insight into the future; Dystopian plots or backdrops are almost standard fare, and the spread of some toxin or virus is the easiest vehicle for writer’s to plot.

That doesn’t mean the reader or viewer isn’t stopped in their tracks when they come across a piece or a film that appears to have predicted the future.

One such slim volume that fulfils that brief is really just a long essay, entitled Here is New York.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement

Weather

Weather Icon
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending