limavady a city of letters
After our pilot ‘Steinbeck Celebration’ initiative last November 2011, we were subsequently approached by the National Steinbeck Centre, California, to consider becoming an International Fringe Festival Partner. They happened to come across some coverage of our event in the Belfast Telegraph. How could we refuse? We are absolutely delighted to be assigned the title of ‘A City of Letters’ by the Steinbeck Centre. They define A City of Letters as a place which has been brought to life through the pages of books.
The Pulitzer/Nobel prize winning, internationally acclaimed author John Steinbeck’s maternal ancestry lie in the small rural townland of Mulkeraugh, just outside Ballykelly. In 1847, his grandfather Samuel Hamilton left his homeland, like so many others, to seek a better life in America. John was told tales of his Irish ancestry by his family throughout his childhood, commenting that he was led to believe that ‘only kings and heroes’ came from this great land. Such was his fascination with his immigrant roots and family rural background that this infiltrated a lot of his writings. Perhaps, it rooted itself most of all in his novel East of Eden, published in 1952.
The character Samuel Hamilton was based in name and personality, it seems, on his own grandfather from Ballykelly. Please join us on Friday 4th May, 7.30pm for a presentation by Douglas Bartlett on Steinbeck’s article ‘I Go Back to Ireland’ published in 1952 in Collier’s Magazine, which documented the author’s pilgrimage back to this area in the same year. Humorous, poignant and perceptive, the full article was kindly sent to us by the National Steinbeck Centre for our archives. The discussion will be followed by a film screening of the 1955 film adaptation of East of Eden, starring James Dean in his first role as tortured young man. A superb film which won an Oscar in 1956.
Admission £4 – We look forward to seeing you!This entry was posted on April 20th, 2012 at 8:44 am