In and Out of Fashion
April 27th, 2017, 08:39 AM
James Clarence Mangan’s reputation saw a significant revival in the early twentieth century, and another around the bicentenary of his birth in 2003. Today he is seen as prefiguring some of the great poets of the later nineteenth century and is frequently read as something of a proto-modernist voice.
Fahrenheit 451
April 9th, 2017, 08:39 AM
The ritual burning of books is generally considered to be a fairly radical act of censorship. So why is an organisation that campaigns for free speech publishing an argument defending the perpetrator of such an act?
The Law's Delays
April 9th, 2017, 08:39 AM
Charles Dickens was no great admirer of the practices of the legal system. Most notably in 'Bleak House', he exposed its inefficiencies and injustices. That was then of course, but in many respects the law today is still Dickensian.
Bright Young Things
March 25th, 2017, 08:39 AM
The world of the wealthy young people who made up English high society in the middle of the last century was frequently a gay enough place. But it wasn't a great place to be gay.
Robert Silvers: 1929-2017
March 25th, 2017, 08:39 AM
The longtime editor of 'The New York Review of Books', who died this week, still working at 87, was simply the best in the business, a business that it is somewhat surprising can still be carried out in the 21st century.
Where Credit Is Due
March 22nd, 2017, 08:39 AM
TK Whitaker may have been generally far-seeing as regards the Irish economy, but one thing he did not foresee, and indeed looked with scepticism upon, was the soon to be very successful Irish credit union movement.
The Long Road
March 6th, 2017, 08:39 AM
There are two views on whether the Arab-Israeli and Northern Ireland conflicts can be compared, with lessons being learned from the Irish peace process. One says the two situations are incommensurable as each is unique. The other says one car crash is pretty much like another.
The Enemy Within
February 27th, 2017, 08:39 AM
In the late fifteenth century, huge numbers of Spanish and Portuguese Jews were expelled by the Inquisition, while others were judicially murdered. After Brexit, the Iberian countries are wondering if any of those 'Sephardic' Jews who settled in Britain might like to come back.
Why craic gets up my nose
February 26th, 2017, 08:39 AM
A generation or two ago, wherever people gathered in Ulster crack was seldom in short supply. It was often powerful; then it moved south, where it was mighty, even ninety, and became craic. Today you’ll find craic wherever songs are sung. It’s as Irish as Guinness, but curiously you won’t find it in Dinneen's dictionary.
The Way We Die
February 13th, 2017, 08:39 AM
Seamus O'Mahony, a gastroenterologist based in Cork, is one of the most prolific of contributors to this review. His well-received study of the medicalisation of death has just been published in paperback.
Tzvetan Todorov: 1939-2017
February 10th, 2017, 08:39 AM
The Franco-Bulgarian thinker and writer had a long career as literary theorist, historian of ideas, political thinker and art historian. He retained throughout his life a deep commitment to democracy and a free and tolerant society.
A Modest Proposal
January 21st, 2017, 08:39 AM
In petitioning for a second wife, George Orwell did not oversell the goods, noting that he was quite old and a bit of a crock. Still, surely someone somewhere must have wanted to become the widow of a significant literary man.
You Have To Laugh
January 8th, 2017, 08:39 AM
In Stalin's Russia an ill-judged joke could land you in the Gulag. Later on jokes could still be dangerous but were also in a sense a safety valve, a relatively harmless way for the downtrodden to let off steam.
In the Bleak Midwinter
December 20th, 2016, 08:39 AM
In the winter of 1784 in East Hampshire, it got so cold, the naturalist Gilbert White observed, that the cats became electrified.
Right to the Bitter End
December 18th, 2016, 08:39 AM
Asked what books he read, Donald Trump replied that he read chapters - chapters of what is not recorded. But should we feel guilty if we don't finish every book we start?
The Revolution Eats Its Children
December 10th, 2016, 08:39 AM
When you play with men, some of them get eaten, Napoleon said. The French leftist Régis Debray was convinced that some of his revolutionary friends got eaten by the Cuban revolution – for reasons of state.
John Montague: 1929-2016
December 10th, 2016, 08:39 AM
The New York-born poet wrote a moving poem of memory of the small place in which he was brought up by relations in a remote part of Co Tyrone.
A Painful Case
December 9th, 2016, 08:39 AM
In 1941, German Jewish mother and daughter refugees Margarete and Irene Brann decided to end their lives in London. The mother died but the daughter survived, and was charged with her mother's murder. On this day 75 years ago she was sentenced to hang.
Ah Go On
December 9th, 2016, 08:39 AM
Samuel Beckett was famous for his gloominess, but also on many occasions seemed able to express it in a way that makes us laugh. Is there a contradiction here, or not?
Singing Schubert
November 29th, 2016, 08:39 AM
There are times when interpreters should realise that explication is not needed. The composer and poet we exist to serve have told us what the message is to be. Our role is simply to deliver it.
Uphill Battles
November 11th, 2016, 08:39 AM
Sometimes in politics you lose, and then sometimes ... you lose again. But there is no alternative other than to learn some lessons and come back for more.
The Bully
November 3rd, 2016, 08:39 AM
They have outlawed bullying in schools in Maine, but unfortunately have not outlawed bullies running for the presidency.
Aspects of Solidarity
November 3rd, 2016, 08:39 AM
It is relatively easy perhaps to create a sense of coherence and common purpose in a group which sees itself as culturally, socially or politically uniform. But how can we create feelings of solidarity with outsiders?
Posh Spice
October 5th, 2016, 08:39 AM
Speaking clearly and enunciating one's vowels may not always gain one admission to a tennis club in which one is not welcome, but the experience of trying to learn how to do so can still be an enjoyable and memorable one.
The Year Without Summer
October 5th, 2016, 08:39 AM
The eruption of a volcano on an Indonesian island in April 1815 - the most explosive such event in history - had long-lasting and devastating effects across the globe. It is the subject of a conference in Galway this weekend.
Kathmandu Letter
September 28th, 2016, 08:39 AM
Public interest defender ‘LB Thapa’ can no longer practise the law. Subjected to death threats, he now lives anonymously with his family in poor conditions, but this is scarcely unusual, he says, for Nepalese lawyers who won’t lie.
Under The Weather
September 1st, 2016, 08:39 AM
So, it's autumn. No need to be depressed. There are apples, blackberries, damsons and bright, golden woodlands to be enjoyed for a few months yet before winter draws in.
A Personal Vendetta
August 29th, 2016, 08:39 AM
Thomas Dickson, one of three men murdered in 1916 by the possibly deranged Captain John Bowen-Colthurst, has been accused of editing an anti-Semitic Irish newspaper. The paper, ‘The Eye-Opener’, may have been scurrilous, but it is doubtful if it was anti-Semitic.
The Fog Persists
July 22nd, 2016, 08:39 AM
A week has passed and we are no wiser about who exactly was behind Turkey’s attempted coup. This is scarcely surprising as we still don’t know who was behind the country’s previous coups either. One thing, however, is certain: President Erdoğan will use it to further entrench his power.
July 14th, 2016, 08:39 AM
Many of the prescriptions and proscriptions of the Catholic church - in the days when it was able to lay down the law - appeared to make some kind of sense, while others were more mysterious. None more so than the disapproval of long engagements.