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 88, April 2017

Issue 88, April 2017

Mapping the Revival

A handsome new publication provides a survey of that period of ferment and rejuvenation that, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, ‘fashioned a new civic culture outside the scope of institutional religion, the colonial state and conventional politics’.

Raiders and Settlers

In a splendid English-language volume of tribute, multiple translators from the Irish verse ensure that no one voice substitutes itself for the voice of the poet and that no single translator drowns out the original. The work can still be heard in its own time.

A Strange Tale

An experimental novel that takes place entirely inside the mind of an unnamed protagonist relates the thought processes and intensely focused observations of an elusive, dissociated woman. Gradually, the reader realises that this is not just a domestic narrative but pure prose poetry

Businesses of the World Unite!

In the midst of growing despair over ‘precariousness’ and shifts in political support to the extremes, one oasis of progressive thinking has emerged. That it has been widely ignored is not surprising, since it comes from the consumer goods sector of the business world.

Head-on and Dead-on

Seamus Heaney’s academic intelligence was formidable but he did not try to write, or think, like a typical academic. His connections to other thinkers often seem idiosyncratic and personal, not made to build a rational intellectual structure.

Race & Cash & Rock & Roll

The record label owner can be seen as the freebooter who turned up treasure in the buried American lives crying out in the hollers of the fields or the hymns of the hollows. Did well out of it too, knowing the ways of copyright and related business niceties. Well, it’s a free country, or so they say.

An Angry Wind

A new biographical study liberates us from the Yeatsian image of Maud Gonne most of us have lived with, springs her from long existence as a footnote to a great poet’s life and gives us the information by which we can finally take the measure of this deplorably influential woman.

Telling Tales

Beryl Bainbridge tended to treat the truth around her own beginnings as no less malleable than her art, and though she may have sometimes served as an unreliable narrator within her prose for literary effect, she was equally untrustworthy in telling the tale of her own life.

The Great Escape

Whatever its lack of charm for those who grew up here, traditional Ireland has always attracted enthusiastic European and other visitors. It’s the place where time stands still, where modernity is still stubbornly resisted and where the best people to this day ride out to hounds.

The God in the I

The Estonian aristocrat Hermann Keyserling was recognised as a leading intellectual in Europe and America in the first half of the twentieth century. In 1911, aged thirty-one, he travelled around the world to develop his spirituality. The Travel Diary of a Philosopher was the result.