Mr Duffy lives a short distance from his body.
Duffy is a lonely man, one who sits atop a Dublin hill and realises his loneliness, surrounded by the city yet rarely touched by it. Duffy stars in A Painful Case, one of the many stories in James Joyce’s Dubliners, and his plight is echoed many years later in Damien Dempsey’s Not On Your Own Tonight. Yet Dempsey’s protagonist is more hopeful; he seems on the brink of breaking through, of finding the light. Perhaps Duffy will get to that same point of positivity, but the story ends with the character’s dawning horror at the extent of his own loneliness.
Love was found, love was lost. Sounds like a great basis for a series of t-shirts and accessories, doesn’t it?
Yes, it really does. In any case, the line burns with a recognisable Irishness – it’s deceptively simple, mildly anarchical and deeply surreal.
Irish Writers Merchandise
We’re releasing apparel based on famous Irish literary quotes. Above, we touched on our Dubliners merch. Let’s see what more’s on offer.
On June 16th, slap bang in the middle of National Accordion Awareness Month and close to Flip a Coin and Hug a Cat Day, there is Bloomsday. Start the day with a hearty breakfast as described in the opening of the book. It’s essentially different types of meat so it’s perfect for the discerning carnivore/average male.
James Joyce’s Ulysses is the basis of one of our designs, so now Bloomsday can be any day of the year.
As can be seen, we’ve gone for a floral motif, primarily because of Leopold Bloom. He’s the wandering, vagabond character, whose own head is slightly removed from his body, stuck in clouds that have a particular stream of consciousness glint.
Furthermore, flowers symbolized romantic longing for Joyce. In The Lotus Eaters, he parodied his own fascination with it by sending up how floral communication was sometimes redundant when it came to finding love. Symbolism in Joyce’s world bloomed with different flowers; meaning burst through with different coloured petals, showing the strength of understood, non-verbal communication.
Flowers are also used to indicate worship, as flowers are often used in church services. Given that Joyce referred to publicans and drink dispensers as seminarians and priests, have a pint while wearing this design!
Playboy of the Western World
John Millington Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World is a riotous play… literally. Riots greeted a performance of this piece, based on the assumption that it was insulting to Irish public morals. This was due to references to lines of women in their undergarments and the central theme of patricide.
The great Arthur Griffith – a true hero in Irish history – took a dim view of the play, stating that it was ‘a vile and inhuman story told in the foulest language’.
Perhaps that’s because the play was informed by Synge’s view of language, which is described in the quote below.
Protests followed the play to New York, and it took until 2007 for Roddy Doyle to attempt a modern adaptation; this time, a Nigerian was the protagonist, rather than a farmer from the west of Ireland.
Sean O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars, in the 1920s, to the chagrin of W.B. Yeats, also inspired riots because of its perceived lack of respect for the patriots of 1916’s Easter Rising.
Synge sadly died in 1909 from untreatable cancer, and his obsession with Irish Catholics and the wilds of Ireland, despite his affluent background, has been attributed to his poor health, which provoked a deep interest in the ‘paganism’ of Ireland’s faithful, and a ‘relish’ for savagery.
Though he died young, he wrote about the Irish poor and influenced Samuel Beckett.
How To Buy Our Irish Writers Merchandise
We are on the popular Spanish website La Tostadora. By following this link, you can own something amazingly fashionable and literary. Make us feel like Youtubers flogging merch, make our modest dreams of earning cents come true, live your dream of wearing the heart of a famous writer on your sleeve!
In the words of Countess Markiewicz:
Dress suitably… and buy a revolver.
We think we can choose from the richness of Irish culture, and make something which says something while looking fashionable at the same time. We’ll be choosing quotes which inspire through their lyrical, literary brilliance.
Thanks for reading about Irish writers merchandise, and remember that more designs are on the way!