Kavanagh and the Dublin Literary Scene


About this Item

In this second documentary of a two part series, Tom McGurk examines the 1930s to the 1960s in the life of poet Patrick Kavanagh. Kavanagh as an exile in Dublin.

  • Title
    Kavanagh and the Dublin Literary Scene
  • 1st Broadcast
  • Contributor
    Tom McGurk (Writer/Presenter)
    Kieran Sheedy (Producer)
  • Clip Duration
  • Material Type
  • Series title
    The Jungle of Pembroke Road
  • Clip title
    Kavanagh and the Dublin Literary Scene
  • Extended description

    The Dublin literary scene of the time was largely based around 'The Palace' and 'Pearl' bars. In this extract from 'The Jungle of Pembroke Road' Anthony Cronin talks about Kavanagh's relationship with the literati. According to Cronin, as Kavanagh struggled to earn a living, he realised that many of this literary set had comfortable lives. Prior to coming to Dublin he had a preconception of Dublin as a place of conversation but the reality for Kavanagh was quite different. Cronin describes Kavanagh as in many ways “astonishingly naive” and in other ways “astonishingly sophisticated.

    Benedict Kiely recalls how Kavanagh eventually became very much part of a Dublin scene that included the universities and Mitchell's tea shop.

    "...And I think, you know, that he had this feeling that Dublin was some sort of a wonderland of creative and sympathetic people to whom he could at last talk, because however deep his relationship with Monaghan may have been, everybody in his circumstances dreams of a place of converse..." (Anthony Cronin)

  • Information

    At the time of Kavanagh's move Dublin was very much a hub of literary life where writers and poets gathered in local hosteleries to discuss and analyse what is literary and what is not.

    As Brendan Kennelly commented in his Thomas Davies lecture on Kavanagh:

    "Kavanagh satirises these events, people and ideas, we would expect him to satirise: Dublin's pretentious poetasters, its bumptious 'intellectuals'; its complacent middle class, its viscious sentimentality and its insincere good nature."
    (RTÉ Guide, Oct 4, 1974, Vol.11, No.40, p.13)

    This is the side of Patrick Kavanagh's life that Tom McGurk examined in the programme 'The Jungle of Pembroke Road'.

    Patrick Kavanagh came to live in Dublin when he was in his thirties, in 1939, and lived there until his death in 1967.

  • Local keywords
    Patrick Kavanagh, Poet, Poetry, Literature, Dublin, The Palace, Pearl, Anthony Cronin, Benedict Kiely
  • Geographical coverage
    Ireland, Dublin
  • Topic
    Arts and Culture
  • Publisher Broadcaster
  • First broadcast channel
  • Production year
  • Country of production
  • Original identifier
  • IPR restrictions
    Rights Reserved - Free Access
  • Rights terms and conditions

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  • Item type
  • Item sound
  • Language used
    English (eng)