Shem The Penman SIngs Again

Shem The Penman SIngs Again

Date: 2nd February 2018
Time: 2pm
Venue: Stack Theatre, CIT Cork School of Music
Cost:Free

Shem The Penman is an imagined archive of the actual and much fabled friendship between James Joyce and tenor John McCormack.


The character of Shaun the Post in Joyce’s “unreadable” novel, Finnegans Wake was
based on McCormack. Joyce portrayed himself as Shaun’s lowly twin brother, Shem the Penman.


Joyce and McCormack’s encounters are reimagined and interrupted by a series of films within the film which chart the exploits of Shem and Shaun. As Joyce’s eyesight fails, the narrative is carried by a mix of archive recordings and imaginary radio broadcasts.

What the critics have said so far:

[T]his delightful, playful study of the relationship between Joyce and
John McCormack … is undeniably a full-on cinematic experience.
Donald Clarke, The Irish Times
… innovative, highly imaginative, and impressively realized …
Sean Crosson, Film Ireland
Shem the Penman Sings Again presents an eccentric and
thoughtfully complex portrait of Joyce, interlacing his biography and
final work into cinematic form.
Ollie Evans, James Joyce Quarterly
Brimming with humour, style and grace, Shem The Penman Sings
Again contains all the delights cinema can offer.
Colin McCracken, The Last Cinema

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