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Literary history as an excuse for drinking

With heritage locales dedicated to the likes of Joyce and Wilde and guided literature-themed tours brimming with more foreign visitors than ever finished Ulysses, the Irish tourism industry makes a mint from its literary heritage. In a recent article on the Book Standard website, Jessa Crispin gets inside the world of literary pub crawls in Ireland by — how else? — joining in on one.

Between lectures and explanations given by tour guides drinking as heavily as their charges, Crispin learns one thing: literary pub crawls are more about the pub than the literary. Making her rounds, Crispin talks to her fellow crawlers: people who joined on the recommendations of tourist information booth staffers. There are Americans who have yet to attempt a Joycean doorstop, a tour guide who provides an explanation for the extreme popularity of pub crawls — “[the fact that] Dublin is so boring” — and even a mother-son team. “I ask Londoner John what made him come down tonight. He points at a woman. ‘That’s my mom. She wanted to go on the musical pub crawl, but I didn’t think I would be able to take it. I suggested this as a compromise.'”

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Click here for Crispin’s piece on the Book Standard website