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Sean Maguire: In Vilnius, 26 September 1991

... beautiful old town, with its high ceilings, cornices, and a window overlooking a quiet cobbled street, they can sell to the first accommodation-hungry diplomat who arrives in town with a pocket full of Euro-currency. The lucky couple can then retire to the Lithuanian equivalent of Brighton, buying a sea-front home from a former gatekeeper at the local ...


Paul Muldoon: Hiberno-English Shenanigans, 1 July 1999

... too thin-skinned altogether.’ The latter, Dolan notes, is spoken by Seumas in Act 1, line 87 of Sean O’Casey’s The Shadow of a Gunman. ‘The main intention of this dictionary,’ I’m only after reading in the introduction (only after is another Gaelic construction), ‘is to make accessible the common word stock of Hiberno-English in both its present ...


Louise Foxcroft: W.B. Yeats and her great-uncle, 7 September 2000

... Times reported that in two days’ time the corvette Macha would leave Cork for Dublin, and that Sean MacBride, the Minister for External Affairs, would join the ship on its journey to Villefranche, where the casket said to contain the poet’s remains would be collected. The Macha would then return to Sligo Bay, where a state funeral was being arranged. The ...

Living and Dying in Ireland

Sean O’Faolain, 6 August 1981

... a few paternal acres bound’. Inside any inherited space, a few hectares in Calabria, a Dublin street, an English village, a youth will grow to knowledge of self, kin, country, finally enlarge to the extent of the world whose distant occupants may well seem to his patriotic mind a congeries of eccentrics who have yet to learn the full sweetness of his ...

Think again, wimp

John Sutherland: Virgin Porn, 16 April 1998

Sugar and Spice: A Black Lace Short Story Collection 
edited by Kerri Sharp.
Black Lace, 292 pp., £7.99, October 1997, 0 352 33227 1
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by Emma Holly.
Black Lace, 261 pp., £5.99, January 1998, 9780352332318
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... talkativeness – which meant it was never taken up as a music station, even in Oxford Street. But it also failed because, unusually, Branson failed to identify his niche audience: Virgin Radio did not consistently target a single age-group, but got lost somewhere between Led Zeppelin and Coolio. Branson is at his best applying imaginative touches ...

Inside the Giant Eyeball of an Undefined Higher Being

Martin Riker: Mircea Cărtărescu, 20 March 2014

Blinding: Volume I 
by Mircea Cărtărescu, translated by Sean Cotter.
Archipelago, 464 pp., £15.99, October 2013, 978 1 935744 84 9
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... volume of which was published in Romanian in 1996 and is translated here with prodigious skill by Sean Cotter. The trilogy is modelled on the anatomy of a butterfly: the first volume is the left wing, the second the body and the third the right wing. Cărtărescu has described the first volume as ‘visionary and idealistic’, while the other two are more ...

Sinking by Inches

Anne Enright: Ireland’s Recession, 7 January 2010

... discussed at length in the media they are not mentioned at family gatherings. Conversation in the street and outside the schools is fretful, but general. In May, news of redundancies starts to filter through (six months late, at a guess), and you nod and say nothing. These are young, highly qualified people, there is no need to panic. In the shops, the sales ...

A Kind of Gnawing Offness

David Haglund: Tao Lin, 21 October 2010

Richard Yates 
by Tao Lin.
Melville House, 206 pp., £10.99, October 2010, 978 1 935554 15 8
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... actors: Fanning, born in 1994, had her breakout role when she was seven in I Am Sam, opposite Sean Penn; Osment, b. 1988, is still best known for his role in The Sixth Sense alongside Bruce Willis. But Lin’s characters are not them. ‘Haley Joel Osment’ is a young writer whose life resembles Tao Lin’s; ‘Dakota Fanning’ is a high-school student ...


Sean Wilsey: Going Slow, 17 July 2008

... dog of Louisiana, which looks like a spotted wolf, a dingo or, as a man who spotted him on the street once put it, ‘one of those wild dogs of Africa’. He was conversational and made a lot of noises that definitely weren’t barking, growling, or anything canine: ‘Wroarowlwolf.’ ‘Oohwar.’ ‘Rrolf.’ ‘Aaahlh!’ ‘Meol.’ ‘Wrrp.’ Going ...

McGahern’s Ireland

D.J. Enright, 8 November 1979

The Pornographer 
by John McGahern.
Faber, 252 pp., £4.95
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... shudders away in distaste. ‘I thought nobody could tell anybody that, and I listened to the loud street.’ This fastidiousness does not deter him from some fancy prose in his own thoughts: ‘I willed all sense down to living in her wetness like in a wound.’ This isn’t the Great Hunger, and with lashings of good food and drink around – to go no ...


Robert Morley, 7 July 1983

Downing Street in Perspective 
by Marcia Falkender.
Weidenfeld, 280 pp., £10.95, May 1983, 0 297 78107 3
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... office in the land, announced his resignation that morning. Not only Baroness Falkender but also Sean Hughes, the prospective Parliamentary candidate for Harold’s seat, describes the moment: he was teaching a class and was summoned from his desk by a caretaker, who commanded him to go home and change into a suit. ‘When I asked him what he was talking ...


Christopher Prendergast: Piss where you like, 17 March 2005

... the small hours, usually ending with a round of Irish rebel songs, lead by the melodious tenor of Sean Malarkey, a shy man who had to be prevailed on to sing. One night he regaled us with an anti-colonial number that included the line ‘Out, out, ye Saxon dogs’. An Englishman called Don Griffin, who, like my father at the time, worked as a guard for ...

Sweaney Peregraine

Paul Muldoon, 1 November 1984

Station Island 
by Seamus Heaney.
Faber, 123 pp., £5.95, October 1984, 0 571 13301 0
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Sweeney Astray: A Version 
by Seamus Heaney.
Faber, 85 pp., £6.95, October 1984, 0 571 13360 6
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by Craig Raine.
Faber, 109 pp., £5.95, September 1984, 0 571 13215 4
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... with self-denial, contemplation, spiritual renewal; a place, too, that has attracted writers like Sean O’Faolain, Denis Devlin, William Carleton and Patrick Kavanagh; a place where the individual might decently ruminate on his relationship with society. This setting affords Seamus Heaney a remarkable opportunity, of which he takes remarkable advantage, to ...

Problem Families

Ian Jack, 26 October 1989

From Moorepark to Wine Alley: The Rise and Fall of a Glasgow Housing Scheme 
by Sean Damer.
Edinburgh, 209 pp., £25, August 1989, 0 85224 622 6
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... of the Home Counties were the happiest consequences of this idea, then Moorepark, the subject of Sean Damer’s study, must be one of the saddest. Moorepark is not the most infamous of Scotland’s housing estates: Paisley’s Ferguslie Park, Edinburgh’s Craigmillar and Glasgow’s Blackhill occupy in the national demonology the place which was vacated ...

What’s Left?

Sheila Fitzpatrick: The Russian Revolution, 30 March 2017

October: The Story of the Russian Revolution 
by China Miéville.
Verso, 358 pp., £18.99, May 2017, 978 1 78478 280 1
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The Russian Revolution 1905-1921 
by Mark D. Steinberg.
Oxford, 388 pp., £19.99, February 2017, 978 0 19 922762 4
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Russia in Revolution: An Empire in Crisis, 1890 to 1928 
by S.A. Smith.
Oxford, 455 pp., £25, January 2017, 978 0 19 873482 6
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The Russian Revolution: A New History 
by Sean McMeekin.
Basic, 496 pp., $30, May 2017, 978 0 465 03990 6
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Historically Inevitable? Turning Points of the Russian Revolution 
by Tony Brenton.
Profile, 364 pp., £25, June 2016, 978 1 78125 021 1
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... in favour of other social ‘spaces’: women, peasants, the empire and ‘the politics of the street’. To understand the current scholarly consensus on the Russian Revolution, we need to look back at some of the old controversies, notably the one about inevitability. For Steinberg, this isn’t a problem, as his contemporary worm’s-eye view ensures ...

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