Saturday, February 13, 2016

Travel Report, EPT12 Dublin, Day 2 -- Ineluctable Modality of the Visible

Woke up on the tired side this morning -- internal clock is still not quite adjusted from EST to GMT just yet -- and after getting some breakfast got some work done with an idea I’d be taking it easy for a few hours. I wasn’t due to go back to help with coverage of the €25K High Roller until later in the afternoon, and so was thinking mainly of resting in the room.

That’s when my friend Gareth Chantler shot me a note to see if I might be up for some further touring of Dublin to see some literary-related sites. I jumped at the opportunity, and before long we were on the train headed down south to Dalkey, a hilly seaside resort that looks over the Dublin Bay.

Upon arrival we started out with a great lunch at Finnegan’s of Dalkey, an excellent restaurant made well known a couple of years back when Michelle Obama and her daughters met Bono and his wife there for lunch. It was also a favorite place of the novelist Maeve Binchy who was born in Dalkey and is one of its most famous residents.

From there we passed through a few streets as Gareth told me some of the history of the Dalkey Quarry and we looked upon the remains of the Norman Castle (pictured up top). We then took a turn and began working our way up a hill, and soon Gareth pointed out a house that was in fact the schoolroom described at the end of the second chapter of James Joyce’s Ulysses (pictured at left).

Was kind of uncanny to see, in part because I’d picked up Ulysses a couple of weeks ago and reread the first two chapters, so the scene involving Stephen Daedelus and the headmaster (the ironic “Nestor” figure of the episode) was still very fresh in my mind.

We continued climbing, surrounded by greenery and high-reaching rocks. Eventually we circled back up through Killiney Hill Park where there was a lot of activity with children playing and a lot of dog walking on a crisp Saturday afternoon. We stopped briefly by the Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel, a site Gareth suspects might be the inspiration for the Majestic in J.G. Farrell’s novel Troubles (which after hearing Gareth’s summary I’m now going to have to read).

Soon we were high and clear enough to enjoy some breathtaking views of the sea on one side and the city on the other. It was cold and the wind whipping up top added to the chill, but such was a minor price to pay to enjoy such sights.

That line up top by the way is the first sentence of the third episode in Ulysses (“Proteus”), one that I think for many readers ends up being the one that forces them off the path entirely never to finish the book. It leads into one of the more opaque-seeming chapters in the book, where the stream-of-consciousness style already exhibited in the first two chapters is let loose even more experimentally.

To me the line has always generically referred to the preeminence of sight over our other senses, although I know it is a more complicated allusion to Aristotle and an involved, philosophical explanation of the process by which vision works. In any event, to me it works as a signpost of sorts highlighting the kind of sight-seeing I was able to enjoy today. Or is it site-seeing? Which is correct, and which is the Joycean pun?

We went back down the mountain, stopping at one point to marvel at how high the waves were crashing against the wall barrier along which we walked -- some 30-40 feet. I snapped a few more photos, then suddenly another rush of water leaped over the barrier and doused myself, Gareth, and a couple of others standing nearby. Was kind of hilarious, actually, as though nature itself was dotting the end of our journey with a loud, cold, and wet punctuation mark.

Got back to the hotel in good shape and over to the Royal Dublin Society venue where for the next 10 hours or so I helped with the €25K High Roller coverage. The always entertaining Mustapha Kanit carries the chip lead to Sunday’s finale (you can read a Day 2 recap here).

Very grateful to Gareth for guiding me through another fun excursion through a different part of Dublin. Gonna try to sleep late on Sunday and recharge a bit before going back in to help with the start of the Main Event. As always, head over to the PokerStars blog for updates throughout, and remember you can watch the High Roller final table on EPT Live (starting at 8:30 a.m. EST/1:30 p.m. GMT).

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