Dubliner Dionysius Lardner couldn’t wangle a job at Trinity despite his remarkable gifts of clarity and exposition, but he was nevertheless a successful publisher in England and criss-crossed America, addressing huge audiences as one of the great scientific popularisers of his era.
Gerard Smyth is a poet strongly associated with his native Dublin, and in particular with the period of his childhood and youth. His new collection is marked by an impulse to record, with piety and fidelity. The tone is elegiac, yet the poems are still open to the new and exotic
Ta Nehisi Coates contends that white supremacy is a force so fundamental to America that it is difficult to imagine the country without it. Marilynne Robinson argues that moral revival, though its results are never enough, is also central to the American tradition and that we should not despair.
All political parties cannibalise the past selectively for facts and arguments deemed useful to safeguarding and advancing their future fortunes. This is normal and to be expected. But what is produced in this way is not history, which is a discipline whose goal is understanding.
Ireland in the revolutionary and Civil War years seemed to be much taken up with its own affairs. But Dubliners flocked to a lavish new picture palace, attended a world title fight and, in spite of warnings of the moral dangers, enthusiastically danced to jazz rhythms in Dawson Street.