Shem the Penman Sings Again

Director: Padraig Trehy

A new exploration of the actual and much-fabled friendship between Joyce and Irish tenor, John McCormack. McCormack inspires the character of Shaun the Post in Joyce’s famously ‘unreadable’ final novel Finnegans Wake, in which Joyce portrayed himself as Shaun’s lowly twin brother, Shem. Joyce’s twin obsessions, singing and literary experimentation, flow through the film as the friends’ encounters are reimagined in a variety of early cinematic styles and real and imaginary audio recordings. (Notes by Sunniva O’Flynn.)

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