Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Literature toursim

Here in Dublin large but tastefully illustrated brass markers highlight literary events which happened in the city. Brass markers all around Dublin record the paces of Leopold Bloom in James Joyce's epic novel, Ulysses, on June 16, 1904. The event is a world wide celebration of literature. People have christened it Bloom's Day and thousands of readers of Joyce gather in Dublin the celebrate the book. So every June 16th, an economic boom hits Dublin. Students on our tour have been out taking pictures of the markers.

Denver has no equivalent. I guess the closest we could do with our short literary history is to commemorate Jack Kerouac's watching baseball at 23rd and Welton or remember his drinking a beer at My Brother's Bar. Perhaps we could find out where Mary Chase imagined Harvey living in Denver from her play by the same name. And while we have many fine writers who use Denver as the backdrop for their stories, we may have to wait awhile for the city to recognize literature as an economic development tool.

And remember Denver has torn down much of it's history. Gone are buildings of historic note which played out the lives of some of our important literary and historic characters. In Dublin if anyone tries to touch a building mentioned by Joyce in any of his stories, the whole nation gets into an uproar. It is not uncommon for the president or prime minister to intervene in such economic decisions.

Was it Moliere who said: "True art knows no bounds?"

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