Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

a life in architecture tompaulin

  • Comment

'I suppose it would be a cliche to pick the Taj Mahal, ' says poet and critic Tom Paulin. 'I visited it twice in one day many years ago and was overwhelmed by it - who would not be? It reminded me of a Wallace Stevens poem because it seemed to be a building about the imagination. It wasn't a static building but one of pure spirit. It was like watching an idea grow.'

Paulin was recently in Dublin making a documentary about James Joyce's Ulysses, which has an episode set in the National Library. An admirer of the city's Georgian architecture, Paulin had never been inside the Victorian library and found it surprisingly airy and beautiful. 'The Victorianism isn't oppressive, and there's an ever-so-slight element of the Baroque in the staircase.'

For Georgian Dublin he chooses the James Joyce Centre on North Queen Street, a house once owned by Lord Kenmare which had fallen into disrepair. 'It's a fabulous Georgian terrace with beautifully proportioned rooms and elaborate ceilings. One ceiling has slightly naive oval fresco paintings showing aristocratic couples dancing. The way of saving it was to say Joyce was born there, which he certainly was not, but it was mentioned in Ulysses .'

Paulin's fondness for a building stems from its historical significance as much as any architectural distinction.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs

AJ Jobs