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.

Issue 151, Spring 2023

Guns, Blood and Popcorn

Cinema Speculation, by Quentin Tarantino, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 400 pp, £25, ISBN: 978-1474624220 The best bits of Quentin Tarantino’s first book, the 2021 novelisation Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, happened when the narrative was put on hold and QT spoke right at you ‑ about cinema! ‑ in a voice unmistakeable from TV interviews […]

Westward Dreams

The Passenger, by Cormac McCarthy, Picador, 400 pp, £20, ISBN: 978-1524712396 Stella Maris, by Cormac McCarthy, Picador, 192 pp, £20, ISBN: 978-1447294016 ‘Tell a dream and lose a reader,’ Henry James warned us, but Cormac McCarthy hasn’t been listening. For sixty years he’s been writing novels that, at critical moments, use dreams to spin parables […]

The State of Us

  To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.  – Cicero The late twentieth century saw the fall of both Homo Sovieticus in Russia and, a little less noticed in the wider world, Homo Catholicus in Ireland. Autocratic nationalism replaced the former, forms of liberalism the latter. […]