Posts tagged ireland

"Army massing, 196. lithograph on Swiftbrook paper, 38 x 54 cm. limited edition of 70 proofs (1 artist’s proof)”
I remember my exhileration at first seeing these TAIN illustrations. RIP Louis Le Brocquy. 

"Army massing, 196. lithograph on Swiftbrook paper, 38 x 54 cm. limited edition of 70 proofs (1 artist’s proof)”

I remember my exhileration at first seeing these TAIN illustrations. RIP Louis Le Brocquy. 

Copyright in all civilised countries, also in ‘Eire’ and in the Sick Counties of Northern Ireland. Pat. Appd. For. The public is warned that copyright subsists in these epexegetic biographic addenda under warrant issued by the Ulster King of Farms (nach maireann) and persons assailing, invading or otherwise violating such rights of copy, which are in-alienable and indefeasible, will be liable to summary disintitulement in feodo without remembrances and petty sochemaunce pendent graund plaisaunce du roi.
Jon Day, LRB Blog. Quoting Myles na gCopaleen, aka Flann O’Brien. Wonderful take-off on legal language. 

John Banville and The Lemur

The Lemur

I prefer Benjamin Black to John Banville. Black is the name under which Banville writes his crime novels. Banville is much admired but I find him a little overwrought. His workings are too close to the surface, particularly in his early novels where fiction and pattern are among his themes.

I quite like Black’s novels. They are well written, and he plots well enough for them to be plausible crime novels independent of the curiosity of the Banville connection. That said, I sometimes wonder if  his main interest lies in exploring the Dublin and Ireland of the 1950s. Banville has noted a Simenon influence and the website has a retro, grainy feel.  I also wonder whether the Black novels will be better remembered than the Banville ones in 50 years, as a record of those darker years before Ireland opened up?

The Lemur is short and a departure. Most of the action takes place in the US. It reads as if it was written with a movie treatment in mind, a knowing noir. It ends suddenly. I was interested to read it as I had wondered what Black would make of his Irish protagonist in the US. Not enough really. 

Diaspora: RTE and St Patrick's Day

Interesting how the Diaspora element of Ireland’s consideration of Irishness seems to have grown in recent years. Maybe now more connected …?

The Chieftains would not be a go-to purchase for me, but I picked this up on impulse in Starbucks. Mostly as a modest tribute to their longevity, as it is a celebration of 50 years of playing by The Chieftains. There are some nice songs on it. But a somewhat random set of collaborations with current artists hardly seems to match the achievement it is celebrating. Which is a pity. The Punch Brothers seem to be the best match. But it comes alive mostly on their solo contribution .. maybe the whole album should have been this way?

The Chieftains would not be a go-to purchase for me, but I picked this up on impulse in Starbucks. Mostly as a modest tribute to their longevity, as it is a celebration of 50 years of playing by The Chieftains. There are some nice songs on it. But a somewhat random set of collaborations with current artists hardly seems to match the achievement it is celebrating. Which is a pity. The Punch Brothers seem to be the best match. But it comes alive mostly on their solo contribution .. maybe the whole album should have been this way?

I dislike being called a storyteller, and resent the implication that I come from a world where the oral tradition, something primitive and unformed, remained strong or intact. This was not true; the oral tradition was not strong in the place where I grew up. I was brought up in a house where there was a great deal of silence. When my father died, his name was hardly ever mentioned again. It was too much that he had died, too hard; his absence was too palpable, too sad. So it entered the realm of what you thought about and did not speak of, a realm I remain very comfortable in to this day.
I liked this very much.