Thomas McCarthy poetry reading at the Youghal Moby Dick Literary Festival 2012

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Thomas McCarthy poetry reading at the Youghal Moby Dick Literary Festival 2012

The seaside town of Youghal hosted their first ever Moby Dick Festival on 16-18th March 2012. A voluntary group from the town on the South Coast of Ireland have rekindled relations with New Bedford with this fun filled festival. Youghal was chosen by Huston when he filmed Moby Dick the movie as the town in the 1950’s scenically mirrored New Bedford in the late 1880’s. The quays in Youghal still stand nearly identical to the quayside in New Bedford during the height of the whaling trade in the late 1880’s.
Click on the video below to see Thomas McCarthy reading poetry at the Youghal Moby Dick Literary Festival 2012

FILM BELOW: Beat the Devil is a 1953 film directed by John Huston. The screenplay was written by Huston and Truman Capote, and loosely based upon a novel of the same name by British journalist and critic Claud Cockburn, writing under the pseudonym James Helvick. It was intended by Huston as a tongue-in-cheek spoof of The Maltese Falcon (1941), also directed by Huston, and films of the same genre.


Thomas McCarthy (born 1954) is an Irish poet, novelist, and critic, born in Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, Ireland. He attended University College Cork where he was part of a resurgence of literary activity under the inspiration of John Montague. Among his contemporaries, described by Thomas Dillon Redshaw as “that remarkable generation,” there were Theo Dorgan poet and memoirist, Sean Dunne, poet, Greg Delanty, poet, Maurice Riordan poet and William Wall, novelist and poet. McCarthy edited, at various times, The Cork Review and Poetry Ireland Review. He has published seven collections of poetry with Anvil Press Poetry, London, including The Sorrow Garden, The Lost Province, Mr Dineen’s Careful Parade, The Last Geraldine Officer (“a major achievement”, in the view of academic and poet Maurice Harmon[1])and Merchant Prince, described as “an ambitious and substantive book”. The main themes of his poetry are Southern Irish politics, love and memory. He is also the author of two novels; Without Power and Asya and Christine. He is married with two children and lives in Cork City where he works in the City Libraries. He won the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 1977. His monograph “Rising from the Ashes” tells the story of the burning of the Carnegie Free Library in Cork City by the Black and Tans in 1920 and the subsequent efforts to rebuild the collection with the help of donors from all over the world.

In his work “the ludicrous and the homely go hand-in-hand but the relaxed, conversational style can switch from emphatic narration to literary observation, as when the poet quotes Henry James’s remark, ‘As the picture is reality so the novel is history/And not as the poem is: a metaphor and closed thing.”[1]

Claud Cockburn
Francis Claud Cockburn of Brook Lodge, Youghal, County Cork, Munster, Ireland was a British journalist. He was a well known proponent of communism. His saying, “believe nothing until it has been officially denied” is widely quoted in journalistic studies. He was the second cousin, once removed, of novelists Alec Waugh and Evelyn Waugh.

In 1947, Cockburn moved to Ireland and lived at Ardmore, County Waterford, and continued to contribute to newspapers and journals, including a weekly column for The Irish Times. In the Irish Times he famously stated that “Wherever there is a stink in international affairs, you will find that Henry Kissinger has recently visited.”

Among his novels were The Horses, Ballantyne’s Folly, Jericho Road, and Beat the Devil (originally under the pseudonym James Helvick), which was made into a film directed by John Huston with script credit to Truman Capote (the title was later used by Cockburn’s son Alexander for his regular column in Truman Capote ).
Photo inset of Claud Cockburn by Eric Hands

Beat the Devil (film)
Beat the Devil is a 1953 film directed by John Huston.[2] The screenplay was written by Huston and Truman Capote, and loosely based upon a novel of the same name by British journalist and critic Claud Cockburn, writing under the pseudonym James Helvick. It was intended by Huston as a tongue-in-cheek spoof of The Maltese Falcon (1941), also directed by Huston, and films of the same genre.
The script, which was written on a day-to-day basis as the film was being shot, concerns the adventures of a motley crew of swindlers and ne’er-do-wells trying to lay claim to land rich in uranium deposits in Kenya as they wait in a small Italian port to travel aboard an ill-fated tramp steamer en route to Mombasa.[3] The all-star cast includes Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones, Gina Lollobrigida, Robert Morley, Peter Lorre and Bernard Lee.
This Huston opus does not easily fit into the standard set of film categories; it has variously been classified as a “thriller,” a “comedy,” a “drama,” a “crime” and a “romance” movie. It is above all else a parody of the Film Noir style[citation needed]that Huston himself had pioneered and as such has developed cult status in the ensuing years.
A quartet of international crooks — Peterson, O’Hara, Ross and Ravello — is stranded in Italy while their steamer is being repaired. With them are the Dannreuthers. The six are headed for Africa, presumably to sell vacuum cleaners but actually to buy land supposedly loaded with uranium. They are joined by others who apparently have similar designs.

The movie was not well received critically (although it was to become a National Board of Review winner) and was to mark the closure of the “quest movies” period in Huston’s career. Despite its disappointing performance, Beat The Devil has gone on to garner mild cult status.
Humphrey Bogart never liked the movie, perhaps because he lost a good deal of his own money bankrolling it, and said of Beat the Devil, “Only phonies like it.” Roger Ebert notes that the film has been characterized as the first camp movie. In the biographical film dramas Infamous (2006) and Capote (2005), Truman Capote, portrayed by Toby Jones and Philip Seymour Hoffman, reminisces about life during the filming of Beat the Devil.

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