Tag Archives: ireland

Flann O’Brien’s “The Various Lives Of Keats And Chapman (Including ‘The Brother’)”

The relationship between Flann O’Brien (also Brian O’Nolan, also Myles na Gopaleen) to the other canonical Irish writers of the twentieth century: Yeats, Joyce, and Beckett, is a tricky one. For the average reader, that is the reader who was … Continue reading

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All Too Irish: Frank McCourt’s “Angela’s Ashes”

 In 1941, Flann O’Brien published one of Ireland’s great comic masterpieces, “An Béal Bocht,” or “The Poor Mouth,” a reference to an Irish expression: “an béal bocht a chur ort” (“to put on the poor mouth”). The expression is a … Continue reading

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Tim Pat Coogan’s “The Famine Plot:” Could Ireland’s Greatest Tragedy Have Been Prevented?

In 1996, Tony Blair issued the first apology on behalf of the British authorities for the part they played in Ireland’s 1846 through 1851 famine. “That one million people should have died in what was then part of the richest … Continue reading

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Tim Pat Coogan’s “Wherever Green Is Worn”

After completing Coogan’s ambitious book, the reader will have no doubt that if there were even one clover in the metaphorical haystack, the author would be able to find it, trace its history, and account for its significance. Tim Pat … Continue reading

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Tim Pat Coogan’s “Michael Collins: The Man Who Made Ireland”

At approximately 8 PM, August 22, 1922, the president of the Free State of Ireland Michael Collins was gunned down in the nondescript town of Bael na mBlath, County Cork, Ireland. Not only was this Irish legend killed by his … Continue reading

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Gordon Bowker’s “James Joyce: A New Biography”

The publication of Gordon Bowker’s new biography of James Joyce, last year in Great Britain and this year in the United States did not occur on a particularly auspicious date: a fact that might very well have set the famed … Continue reading

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Richard Ellmann’s James Joyce”

In The Observer, Anthony Burgess called Ellmann’s 1959 biography of James Joyce “the greatest literary biography of the century.” However, those who have managed their way through the 800+ page behemoth are inclined to disagree with the novelist; Ellmann’s work … Continue reading

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