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.

Brian Earls

By Reason of Past History

The palpable sense of the dead and living coming together that is the undeclared but unmistakable meaning of the hundreds of candles flickering in the reassuring darkness of Polish graveyards on All Souls’ Night recalls accounts of Samhain given by earlier generations of Irish country people. To which those unimpressed by such a past-centred vision might add that the faults which accompany such perspectives also recur, and that elements of postcommunist Polish discourse recall the introspective Ireland of earlier decades.

Voices of the Dispossessed

Remembering the Year of the French: Irish Folk History and Social Memory, by Guy Beiner, University of Wisconsin Press, 488 pp, £28.95, ISBN: 978-0299218201 Leabhar...