ADDLED BY BOOKS
Enrique Vila-Matas plays some complex games with literature and characters yet any threat of heaviness is redeemed by his assured comic touch and fine sense of the ridiculous.
Concord between various ethnic groups in Syria appeared evident until acts of obscene violence began to be carried out by both the regime and anti-regime forces. But few people in the future will want to live alongside those they suspect of destroying their homes and families.
INSURRECTIONISTS AND SKIRMISHERS
When you lose in politics there is a tendency for others ‑ particularly the young ‑ to question, if not denounce, your tactics. Notwithstanding the impressive list of achievements and concessions won by O’Connell over thirty-odd years, his ending was an example of the dictum that all political careers end in failure.
REPLY TO JOHN BORGONOVO
The author responds to a review of his book on the Black and Tans.
THE MAGIC’S GONE
JK Rowling’s new adult novel has more characters than are good for it. It’s also a little difficult to care too much about them.
REPLY TO JOHN REGAN
Response to John Regan’s review of Eve Morrison’s “Kilmichael revisited: Tom Barry and the ‘false surrender”’ in D Fitzpatrick, Terror in Ireland: 1916-1923.
DUBLIN AT WAR
There has been no collective amnesia in Ireland about the Great War. The event was remembered in Dublin for many decades after it ended, but in terms appropriate to the city’s experience of it.
THE HOUSE OF CARDS
László Krasznahorkai’s novels are balanced between a precarious inertia and total collapse. The animating tension of his work resides not, as is the case in more conventional novels, in questions of who did what or what happens next, but in the question of what such a total collapse might look like, given the pervading sense of its inevitability.