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.

Barra Ó Seaghdha

The Harvest In

O’Driscoll raises the matter of the many conferences, launches, conferrings and other public events in which Heaney participates. “Ongoing civic service, I suppose,” Heaney responds ... Life has been good to him in many ways; poetry has enriched his existence both privately and in the social and intellectual worlds it has opened up to him. In return, though under no obligation to roll up his shirtsleeves and take part in the meitheal, Heaney performs his neighbourly duty as few in his position would.

The Phantom of Exclusion

The Irish Literary Revival, alongside many other similar movements of the time, was an attempt to transform Ireland from what it seemed to be becoming – a derivative, provincial British backwater given to exaggerated bluster about its Irishness – into an autonomous and self-respecting cultural centre. This is the logic behind Douglas Hyde’s “On the Necessity of De-Anglicising Ireland”. Quinn shows no interest in or understanding of this aspect of the Revival – it would, after all, involve getting to grips with the dynamics of Anglo-Irish cultural relations, with due attention to both sides of the hyphen.

Silent Symphony

Music in Nineteenth-Century Ireland, Michael Murphy & Jan Smaczny (eds), Four Courts Press, 336 pp, €55, ISBN: 978-1846820243 That Music in Nineteenth-Century Ireland should be the ninth...

Just Like That

The End of the Poem: Oxford Lectures in Poetry, by Paul Muldoon, Faber and Faber, 432 pp, £25, ISBN: 978 0571227402 Horse Latitudes, by Paul Muldoon,...

A Sentimental Dissenter

Crusoe’s Secret: The Aesthetics of Dissent, by Tom Paulin, Faber, 360 pp, £20, ISBN: 0571221157 While bare biographical facts offer no guaranteed entry into the...