1 February 2009

The top of whatever time of the

day you happen to find yourself in to you.

As if I didn't have enough to worry me, I have just discovered that a blog was removed from the canon of Irish award bloggery last year for "not being Irish enough". Having been nominated this year, some enthusiastic card-carrying evidence of un-un-Irish activity might be in order?

I could mention that today is Saint Bridget's Day, for all the good it has done us. The days may be lengthening, as the old gaelic poem in praise of our second national saint claims, but we are being buffetted by wild eastern gales, our currency is going pear-shaped and everybody (apart from the ever-lively musicians) at the afternoon concert in the National Gallery this afternoon looked as if they were either fast asleep or cast in aspic... sorry, Carragheen Moss. This observation may be a sad case of Freudian transference. I caught a glimpse of my face reflected in a window and it was of a paleness that only an Irish Winter can impose.

The vague question broached on a chat room recently about what might constitute an "Irish Blog" brought such a deluge of Hiberno-English non-sequeturs that I've taken a break from trying to communicate with my fellow country-persons.

Adding insult to injury, the Title Bar here has started a bout of automatic writing
in Hindi which might have impressed Yeats and his wife, but which just makes me wonder if it is actually mimicing what I'm typing in English or is just making fun of my lack of Hindi.

National identity has never been my forte and that is just as well.

As I stood photographing the light fading over Merrion Square this afternoon a voice rose taking my appearance in and finding it unusual. "There aren't that many tourists around at the moment", it said.

My new American designed coat, Japanese camera and the genetic material conveyed through my Norman ancestors and English great-grandmother have conspired to make me look "foreign".

They have a lot to answer for...


Blogger DaviMack said...

It's a strange thing, to think that you could be excluded for not being Irish enough, despite the fact that you are Irish, and are blogging. I mean, what's the whole thing about, then? To enforce some standard of Irishness?

We're having a good discussion, in my department, about heritage, identity, nationality, and ancestry. All of them (save genealogy) tend to be rather on a sliding scale, rather than some absolute thing.

2/02/2009 7:15 pm  
Blogger Tales from the Birch Wood. said...

I found the discussion in the comments on fascinating.

I began to wonder how a blog might "look Irish". Green,white and gold bunting could be one ploy?

Theodore Zeldin's book, "The French" is now on Google books and you and your colleagues would find it interesting, I think.

People used identify with their family, local community, town or city. Nationalism is relatively new, a development of centralised power structures in the 19th Century.

I don't think that any of my blogs have a national flavour, which is worth blogging about in more depth. However, due to my use of turns of phrase that occur more usually in Hiberno-English, another English speaker would probably recognise what I am doing
as "Irish" in a way that I would not notice.

Sticking a nice wrought iron shamrock, which is typical of Dublin street lighting onto Photographedublin is probably as far as I'm going to get with expressing a national identity.

Or at least I hope that is the case.

I would be interested to know what you and your colleagues offer as insight into this subject.

2/02/2009 8:56 pm  
Blogger DaviMack said...

Right now we're offering a grant proposal, to the Humanities in the European Research Area body. That is, we will be doing so soon! ;)

Me, I wonder at the people for whom nationality is such a vehement subject. Prejudice, by any other name....

2/03/2009 6:30 pm  

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