St Patrick's Day, Vienna and Irish connections

As I said in class, this has been an auspicious week to begin courses on Irish topics in literature for the Proseminar and in theatre/film for the MA seminar. Oddly, on Saturday morning the Irish Patrick’s Day Parade came through campus an Courtyard 8 right past us here. I still haven’t figured out the Irish connection directly with Vienna the city, there were maybe a hundred or more in parade, though the connections with UniWien are clearer academically. See below. I watched the Farrells’ film (not Colin, Keith and his bro, or is it his dad?) called A TERRIBLE BEAUTY and it’s better than I thought it would be. No big star names, no big name academic doing the talking heads stuff really; but the reconstructions pretty good. See @CISLondon for links to buy the DVD. TG4 are behind it, hence the liberal use of Irish.

I have posted up several online links to various radio and TV history/politics documentaries so that you can view these and get more comfortable with this aspect of the course. I recommend the BBC radio links and also the Youtube of the Robert Kee films from 1981. They are a bit old fashioned looking and sounding now, but they are based on great research and are well put together.

For the Proseminar, the radio documentaries this week on Radio 4 BBC were good and there is Part 2 of it on Friday morning again in the coming week.

I mentioned in one seminar at least that I was curious about the Irish links to this city and to the University in particular. Well, one I bumped into Prof Otto Rauchbauer of Uni Wien who was a major reason why there is such a good Irish library collection here for you today. His work in the 1970s and 1980s laid the foundation here for the study of Irish literature – Somerville & Ross’s fiction in particular – and in semi retirement he had been working on an somewhat eccentric individual called Sir John – or Shane Leslie – an Irish aristorcrat, writer/editor and bon vivant from the early-mid 20thC. Rauchbauer published this guy’s biography in 2009 with Lilliput Press, Ireland, called Sublime Failure

Leslie seems to have been involved in the US in Washington in the lead up to 1916 advising the US government on attitudes in Ireland to WWI, Britain and the US becoming involved. My own Brian Desmond Hurst antennae are waving at the sound of this. I'm hoping to go for lunch with Otto during my stay here to see if there were any connections since Hurst and Leslie were both Catholic converts, had a Cambridge connection (Killanin) and Hurst adored Irish aristocrats.