I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Home Issue 150, December 2022

Issue 150, December 2022

A Place for the Arts

In 1921, the second Dáil innovatively nominated a minister for fine arts, Count Horace Plunkett, and two staff. In his nineteen weeks in office, Plunkett organised one public event, a sexcentenary celebration of Dante. Then his ministry was subsumed into a department of education. Plunkett’s appointment was the first of many false starts, as the state, like many others throughout the twentieth century, struggled with the idea of supporting the arts as a good in itself.

A Restless Imagination

Frank McGuinness is a writer of openness and adventure. Openness to form: while best known as a playwright, while highly regarded as a poet since the 1990s, he has made forays into other genres, writing short fiction in the early 1980s and publishing two novels in the last decade; openness to varying manner and textures, which can range from tightly focused social realism to fantasy. The list of his stage and film adaptations suggests a keen literary appetite, eager to try anything.

Inventing the Republic? II

As might be expected, the immediate response to the Rising of those that were or would soon become the leading Irish writers was probably as complex as that of the Irish public more generally. If a generalisation might be risked, the letters and other early writings of 1916 suggest a sense of stunned incomprehension, this sooner or later modulating in some cases into a grudging respect for the executed leaders.

Idols and Good Old Gods

The arrival of Christianity in Ireland and the unhelpful notion of ‘paganism’

Changing the Question

The triumph of liberal Britain, which survived the eclipse of the party

Percy at the Wake

The troubadour who mangled ‘Moore’s Melodies’ and inspired Joyce

Joyce’s Eye

Modernism and the influence of ‘cinematicity’ on perception

Observing Proportion

The hyphenated music of Maurice Scully’s shadowy airs

Shipyard Radical

The life of Belfast trade unionist and revolutionary socialist James Baird

A Cosmopolitan Voice

A selection of from the pages of the prestigious ‘Dublin Review’