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Sunday, May 16th 2010

Culture on Irish Left Review

The Culture Section contains all the articles that relate to culture, including book and film reviews, essays on cinema, and articles on the politics of culture and the arts.


A resurrection in Charlesland (An Extract)

From A resurrection in Charlesland
All the golden nest-egg rows changed back to brick.
The hoardings’  painted sunrays sprouted teeth
and claws.
In the online brochures the blue computerised skys
were recoded
as nets that are
thickening over us.

Open Letter to Margaret Atwood: Reject Tel Aviv University Prize

Some say Palestine is the ultimate test of honesty: An open letter written in response to the news that the novelist and poet Margaret Atwood had chosen to accept the Dan David Prize at Tel Aviv University in Israel on Monday 10th of May. Originally published in on the 9th of May 2010. [...]

The Invention of Paris, A History in Footsteps

The Invention of Paris, A History in Footsteps: Eric Hazan | Verso (2010) pp400 (£20)
There are few cities in the world as indelibly branded, in both a commercial and a figurative sense, in the minds of people as Paris. This is all thanks to a handful of iconic monuments made famous from millions upon millions [...]

Book Review: Peadar O’Donnell by Donal Ó’Drisceoil

Radical Irish Lives: Peadar O’Donnell by Donal Ó’Drisceoil - Cork University Press
The recent reportage of the teachers’ unions conferences would have delighted Peadar O’Donnell, who began his career as an activist in the INTO. The general tenor of the media response was ‘how dare these people object to having their pay slashed and conditions of [...]

Ghost Estate

Ghost Estate

women inherit
the ghost estate
their unborn children
play invisible games
of hide & seek
in the scaffold frames
if you lived here
you’d be home by now

Writers and Politics: Can We Make Something Happen?

This paper was delivered to The Kate O’Brien Weekend, Saturday February 27th 2010.
Irish writers are more insiders than outsiders now. We have the Arts Council to give us bursaries, albeit much reduced since the Depression began; we have Aosdána to support us in our old age; we have Ireland Literature Exchange to help our work [...]

Fordlandia: the rise and fall of Henry Ford’s forgotten jungle city

Fordlandia: the rise and fall of Henry Ford’s forgotten jungle city by Greg Grandin, Metropolitan Books, New York 2009
This book uncovers the complex history of Henry Ford’s attempt to create a secure source of natural latex in the Brazilian Amazon in the 1920s and ‘30s.  But it also reveals the complex and often contradictory character [...]

An Open Book

Talking with Sartre: Conversations and Debates, by John Gerassi, 2009, Yale.
Central to Jean-Paul Sartre’s philosophy of existentialism is the concept of Bad Faith, the idea that humans avoid taking responsibility for their actions by pretending they have no choice in how they behave. This can manifest itself in a range of behaviours, such as making [...]

Speak, Memory

When the Lights Went Out: Britain in the Seventies, by Andy Beckett. Faber and Faber, 448 pp.
About a quarter of the way into Guardian journalist Andy Beckett’s impressive account of Britain in the 1970s, self-satisfied Labour Party politician Denis Healey, who served as Harold Wilson’s chancellor of the exchequer, observes that he knew “bugger [...]

100 Films of the Decade - Part 5: The Top 10

The top ten for the decade - or, as the more observant will notice, a top 12 - a miscalculation resulted in there being more left at the end than I originally thought. But none of these films could be left out and there’s no obligation to stick too closely to the rules. So here [...]

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