They Call It Peace
A new collection of participants’ accounts of England’s wars in sixteenth century Ireland reveals the extreme means – starvations, burnings, decapitations, slaughter of women, children and the elderly – by which its soldiers and administrators claimed to have pacified the country.
Enabling the Future
Having devoted an amount of absorbing scholarship to exploring how regressive much of twentieth century Ireland became, Tom Garvin is astonished at finding a fellow countryman of consequence in the person of the Gaelic scholar and diplomat Daniel Binchy.
Man of Aran
Many cultural commentators and analysts have overlooked Tim Robinson’s many-faceted significance. Matters are now being rectified with three ambitious sets of essays, on his cartography and geography, his prose narratives and his place in Irish studies.
Thanks but No Thanks
Jenny Diski was a disturbed teenager abandoned by her parents when Doris Lessing took her into her home. She was told there was no need to feel grateful and offered freedom, space and intellectual stimulation. Love, affection and reassurance, however, were not part of the deal.
Brothers in Arms
The British Labour Party is in deep crisis, with the majority in the constituency parties, many of them recently joined-up members or supporters, strongly in support of new leader Jeremy Corbyn while the majority of the party’s MPs are equally opposed and keen to replace him.
Travels with William
The writer William Burroughs, an experimentalist in life as well as fiction, assumes a heroic position in a new book by British neurosurgeon Andrew Lees, representing the intersection of art and science, of empiricism and experimentalism.
Through the Looking Glass
The surprises inherent in poetry serve the important function of unsettling us, of luring us into what Rilke spoke of as ‘the open’. They might even succeed in confounding our certainties, and thus widening our capacities of perception and experience.
This Island Now
One of the most distinctive aspects of O’Faoláin’s ‘The Bell’ was its reportage, a genre related to British and American traditions of documentary writing, a departure from the ‘belles lettres’ conception and a socially conscious attempt to extend literature’s democratic appeal and demographic reach.
Far from Home
Mia Gallagher’s new novel is a capacious one. It is difficult to capture all at once, and as such it is a work that would repay returning to. As the playful cabinet of curiositiesdevice that it features might suggest, it is also a novel that might appear very differently on each reading.
The Great Dying
In the eighty-million-year time span from the mid-Permian to the mid-Jurassic periods, two massive extinctions occurred, as well as four of lesser magnitude. In the biggest of these, 250 million years ago, ninety-five per cent of existing plant and animal life perished.