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 76, March 2016

Issue 76, March 2016

He’s Not There

A new biography of Marcel Proust which appears as part of a series called ‘Jewish Lives’ fails to tell us very much about its subject and does not seem to be on safe ground either with the linguistic, historical or cultural background.

Leading on Climate Change

The outlook after the COP21 summit is certainly better than after Copenhagen in 2009. But there is still a mismatch between the EU’s declaration of climate leadership and the resources it devotes to exercising that with the huge states of China and India.

A Terrible Thing

Iris Murdoch’s Easter 1916 novel ‘The Red and the Green’ (1965) expresses some of her own early Marxist and feminist attitudes, as when a character asserts that ‘being a woman is like being Irish. Everyone says you’re important and nice, but you take second place all the same’.

McGahern And Tradition

A new study of John McGahern is grounded in a capacious knowledge of his fiction, his reading, his manuscripts and notes, and other critics’ work. It will allow us to assess his enduring reputation fifty years after the career began and a decade after its end.

The City As Hero

If there is a ‘larger than life’ character in Lia Mills’s novel ‘Fallen’ it is the city of Dublin itself, whose street names are evoked with a Joycean reverence. This makes it a peculiarly appropriate choice to be chosen as this year’s One City, One Book

Rebellion of the Intellect

In the Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, published one hundred years ago this year, the hero’s father, Simon Dedalus, describes the Irish as a ‘priestridden Godforsaken race’. That claim may once have had validity, but it does not any longer ‑ at least as far as the ‘priestridden’ part is concerned.

Art And Power

Dmitri Shostakovich achieved success and fame as a composer early in life, and that may have made him particularly vulnerable. He had been one of the most prominent artists in Russia all through the worst years of Stalin’s rule. The consequence was a life lived in fear.

The High-Wire Man

Joseph Roth took stylistic risks in his journalism, but they almost always paid off. He became one of the most highly respected contributors to the German press – until 1933, when, as an anti-Nazi and a Jew, he suddenly found himself unemployable. He died in exile in France in 1939.

The First and Last Word

The absence of a plot will no doubt annoy some readers of Tom McCarthy’s new novel, but others will barely notice in their search for a thematic unity to its various obsessions and recurring imagery.

Voices from Elsewhere

Rob Doyle’s new collection demands to be read if for no other reason than to observe what the new generation of talent is beginning to produce by way of a tradition moving steadily away from McGahern’s Ireland into a foreignness no less real for being in no way green.