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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Inspector Wittgenstein and the Northside Murder Mystery

I’ve always wondered why, with their Dublin connection, no one has thought of turning the Philosophical Investigations into a northside crime story.

Another case for Inspector Wittgenstein of the Ashling Hotel, Parkgate Street. The corpse of the eminent philosopher’s logical positivist phase lay bleeding to death outside Ryan’s pub. The inspector appeared strangely nonplussed. ‘The task of the investigation is not to change anything. We must simply see the situation aright. If I point to the bleeding corpse on the ground, you look at the corpse, not my finger. Yet if you did look at my finger, what would you see? Can the finger point to itself? If I say to the barman in Ryan’s, holding my pint up to the sunlight through the window, This Beamish is rather beamish, referring to a sunbeam, does the mind consciously register making the same sound twice but with separate referents? Would it be possible to ‘swap’ referents and still pronounce the same words? What would this mean?

Inspector Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations. That’s one RTE adaptation I’d like to see.

With the Ashling hotel being so close to the Phoenix Park, I’m reminded of a story, which I think is in Anthony Cronin’s Dead as Doornails, of some Dublin wit or other wriggling out of the Good Friday drink moratorium by getting himself invited to a private dining club in the Zoo. This rankled somewhat with Patrick Kavanagh. When told that the wit in question got himself invited to so many free dinners because of the good conversational value for money he gave, Kavanagh begged to differ. The man wasn’t so funny, really, and ‘If he kept his mouth shut he’d eat a lot more dinners. Or something like that. How we laughed.

I still think wed have to go with Myles na gCopaleen as Inspector Wittgenstein’s sidekick though.

That plaque is in Glasnevin, by the way, not at the Ashling Hotel, though there’s one there too.

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