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.

Writers And Artists

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Terry Eagleton will have no truck with the modern world and its noise and its gadgets and its silly babbling. Fair play to him.

C’est la meme chose

Some non-Anglo-Saxon cultures, and particularly the French, seem prone to national panic in the face of la globalisation. But rumours and fears of cultural extinction are greatly exaggerated.

Poet, translator, patient, sinner

Oliver Bernard was a poet and an acclaimed translator of Rimbaud. He got up to a few other things as well.

Lydia Davis wins International Man Booker

The American minimalist short story writer follows Ismail Kadare, Chinua Achebe, Alice Munro and Philip Roth.

Speak the Best Word

Margaret Fuller, writing in 1840, had some very pertinent things to say about people who have opinions and like to sound off.

No talent? His eyes flashed angrily

There is still time to book for Dan Brown in Dublin and hear how he does it.

Saloon Bar Blues

Philip Larkin is still among Britain's most read poets, which must testify to a certain appetite for gloom. Alan Bennett however finds it is sometimes all a little too much.

Friday Night and the Lights are Low

Dancing in the Regency period may have looked from a distance like a straitlaced and buttoned-up affair, but it was vital to the reproduction of 'good society' and charged with excitement and sexual energy.

Quiet Please

A new study examines silence in the Christian tradition and its use for good and evil.

Carson shortlisted for RSL Prize

Liam Carson has been shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature/Ondaatje prize for his memoir of his parents, Call Mother a Lonely Field.

The Beautiful German Language

Some people think it sounds harsh, and some very eminent Germans historically thought it wouldn't do, but spoken by the right person it will make you swoon.

Those who can teach

Remembering the wonderful English actor Richard Griffiths, who died last week aged sixty-five.