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    Jude lives in a henhouse with no roof, that he bought for ten million euro, at the height of the Irish property bubble. One day, his mortgage is rated the debt in Europe most likely to default... The political and financial elite of Europe arrive, with a plan: help Jude put a roof on his henhouse, stabilize his debt, and reassure the markets. It all goes horribly wrong.

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    "Like Roddy Doyle in an extremely good mood" - The Washington Post

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« Electric Picnic, Free Sex Chocolate, Jude in London, etc. | Main | Best albums of the noughties? »
Wednesday
Feb102010

The State of Irish Literature 2010

 

To my slight surprise (and immense delight), my story “The Orphan and the Mob” was chosen to represent Ireland in the ambitious new anthology, Best European Fiction 2010 (edited by Aleksandar Hemon, and introduced by Zadie Smith). The book’s publishers, Dalkey Archive Press, recently asked me five polite questions about the state of Irish literature. I replied with an intemperate rant. A slightly updated version follows below…

 

1. Are there any exciting trends, movement, or schools in contemporary Irish fiction? Who do you feel are the overlooked contemporary authors in Ireland who should be more widely read and translated?

 

I haven’t the faintest idea. As is traditional with my people, on achieving the status of Writer, I was strapped to an ass and driven from the City. I’ve lived in Berlin for the past few years. When I was in Ireland, I lived in Galway city, which is on the opposite side of the country to Dublin, where the novelists fester. Galway doesn’t really do literature. And I grew up in Tipperary, in the midlands, where writers were, until recently, killed and eaten. And quite rightly.

 

If there are exciting trends in literary Ireland, the excitement hasn’t made its way to Berlin yet. Anyway, I don’t believe in trends, movements, schools, and the whole German classification mania. That’s all made up after the fact, to help university libraries with their filing.  Each pen is held by a single hand. But for what it’s worth, none of my Irish friends read Irish books any more.

 

Indeed, I hardly read Irish writers any more, I’ve been disappointed so often. I mean, what the FECK are writers in their 20s and 30s doing, copying the very great John McGahern, his style, his subject matter, in the 21st century? To revive a useful old Celtic literary-critical expression: I puke my ring. And the older, more sophisticated Irish writers that want to be Nabokov give me the yellow squirts and a scaldy hole. If there is a movement in Ireland, it is backwards. Novel after novel set in the nineteen seventies, sixties, fifties. Reading award-winning Irish literary  fiction, you wouldn’t know television had been invented. Indeed, they seem apologetic about acknowledging electricity (or “the new Mechanikal Galvinism” as they like to call it.)

 

I do read the odd new, young writer, and it’s usually intensely disappointing. Mostly it’s grittily realistic, slightly depressing descriptions of events that aren’t very interesting. Though, to be fair, sometimes it’s sub-Joycean, slightly depressing descriptions of events that aren’t very interesting. I don’t get the impression many Irish writers have played Grand Theft Auto, or bought an X-Box, or watched Youporn. (And if there is good stuff coming up, for God’s sake someone, contact me, pass it on.) Really, Irish literary writers have become a priestly caste, scribbling by candlelight, cut off from the electric current of the culture. We’ve abolished the Catholic clergy, and replaced them with novelists. They wear black, they preach, they are concerned for our souls. Feck off.

 

But let us accentuate the positive, for the love of the Lord:

 

I do like Kevin Barry. His collection There Are Little Kingdoms had something special about it. Hints of glory ahead. (I gather there will be a novel. I’ll be buying it with cash money.) And from a few years back I loved Mike McCormack’s first book, the story collection Getting it in the Head. I always felt Mike McCormack had the great, demented, Irish small town heavy metal novel in him, he just needed to get it out. Then this week I discovered, from a very reliable source, that he’s finished his next novel, Pilgrim X, and it’s a post-apocalyptic Western set in the west of Ireland. Hurray! Exactly what Irish literature needs right now. I hear there’s a strong Scandinavian death metal vibe off it. This has all the signs of being his major breakthrough, and breakout.

 

For me, the only writer to grab the Celtic Tiger by the tail and pull hard while the tiger roared was Ross O’Carroll Kelly, the pseudonym of Paul Howard. And that was a newspaper column. (Collected every year into a new book – read them all if you want to understand Ireland’s rise and fall. No other writer caught it while it happened. The best, funniest, and most historically important run of Irish satirical journalism since Myles na gCopaleen.)

 

The Irish writer that most excited me recently was Diarmuid O’Brien, and he writes unproduced television scripts. Very funny, very Irish, on the edge of the surreal, a nice mixture of  WB Yeats and UK sitcoms. Padraig Kenny is another very funny, passionate, interesting guy trying to do interesting things with TV and radio scripts. (He has already managed to turn his Twitter rants into an artform.) Tommy Tiernan is Ireland’s most philosophical voice, but he has chosen stand-up comedy as his way of delivering his philosophical prose. Tiernan has read everything by Beckett, and everything by Lenny Bruce, and combined them. On the right night you will end up on the floor weeping tears of laughter and recognition as he takes Ireland apart. I remember reading Graham Linehan when he was only 17 and writing for Hot Press, and thinking, this guy is the funniest writer in Ireland. Of course, he got no recognition or encouragement in Ireland, so he went to London and co-wrote Father Ted, and Black Books, and now writes The I.T. Crowd. (Two days ago, as I write this, he won the British Comedy Award for writers.) The guy’s a genius, but he’s been working out of London, with UK broadcasters, since his early 20s, so he has no reason to address Ireland. (We had other geniuses, a decade or two back, but we didn't want them either. Cathal Coughlan tried to tell us who we were, spewing poetic vinegar with Microdisney, then sulphuric poetry with Fatima Mansions, but we didn't want to listen. Don't get me started on Cathal Coughlan, I'll cry.)

 

But then, why would our funniest, most original voices want to join a pompous, priestly, provincial literary community?  I’m pretty sure the best of the new, young Irish writers are writing for film, TV or computer games. Of course, anyone decent then has to go to England to get anything made. Another problem with Ireland is that its national broadcaster makes civil service television. Raidió Teilifís Éireann have never made a good comedy, they hardly ever make decent drama, and they treat writers like shit. Any work that has to go through an official Irish institution is slowly castrated by committee. All of those things are set up wrong. Our national theatre, The Abbey, is a weird, dysfunctional machine for setting fire to money. There is an almost total disconnect between the plays the Abbey puts on and the nation they are supposed to represent. (It does put on work by good playwrights: but with a thirty year delay.) Its most recent director, Fiach Mac Conghail, is doing his darndest, but turning round around The Abbey is like trying to do a wheelie in an Airbus full of American tourists. As an Irish playwright, you’ve a far better chance of getting your first play put on by the Royal Court in London than by any theatre in Dublin. Culturally, Ireland is a failed state. The fact is disguised because the UK and the USA have taken up the slack, and given our artists an outlet. But Ireland herself has, for example, never made a television program that anyone outside Ireland would want to watch. Given the quality of our writers, and the size of the global English-language TV audience, this is an immense national disgrace. (Just to repeat, everyone involved in Father Ted was Irish - but it was made by the British broadcaster Channel 4.) I know and like many of the individuals who work in RTÉ, but it is institutionally incapable of using the talents of its people, and it is institutionally incapable of change. Its news and sports coverage are excellent, the rest of it should be shut down. At the moment it’s a machine for wrecking talent, and the talented people inside it would be much happier under almost any other system.

 

The only area where Irish writing is thriving in Ireland itself is on the internet, because it’s a direct connection, writer-to-reader. Blogs captured, and capture, Ireland in a way literature  no longer does. Sweary Lady was brilliant (on her Arse End of Ireland blog), right through the Celtic Tiger years. Kav wrote the great Kav’s Blog. (Sweary and Kav both moved on to the Coddle Pot group blog…) And the quality, and quantity, of the swearing was and is very high on the Irish blogs, with guys like Twenty Major. The Irish swear better than almost anyone else on earth, bar maybe the Spanish and a couple of countries in Africa. That’s another area where I think recent Irish literary writers  – with the honourable exception of Roddy Doyle - have failed us badly. Ireland’s great lost playwright, Kevin McGee, was a master of the kind of swearing that had you desperately poking your inner ear with a biro to try and remove the images from your head. However, he was let down by professional theatre, moved into writing television soap operas (and translating the classics), and seems to have abandoned the stage. Who will swear for us now? Who will let rip the savage, guttural, primal utterance – half Yeats poem, half Guinness fart – required, DEMANDED, by the current state of Ireland? {EDIT: Probably Kevin Barry. Since this was first written, his apocalyptic story Fjord of Killary has appeared in the New Yorker, gracing its fragrant pages with North Galway lines as pinpoint accurate as these: 

“Fuckers are washin’ diesel up there again,” John Murphy said. “The Hourigans? Of course, they’d a father a diesel-washer before ’em, didn’t they? Cunts to a man.”

“Cunts,” Bill Knott confirmed.}


But I am biased, unstable, bitter, twisted, and living abroad, so don’t rely on my judgement. I’m sure there’s millions of brilliant writers in Ireland, I’m just mysteriously missing them every time I go there and look. In fact, aware of this, I outsourced the search to Twitter and asked who were the overlooked or neglected Irish writers that I’d missed. Here were the suggestions I got back, to balance my bile:

 

John MacKenna, Tomas O'Crohan, Mark O' Rowe (playwright and screenwriter), Antonia Logue, Sean O'Reilly, Vincent Woods (for “At the Black Pig's Dyke, the most underappreciated Irish play in the past 20 years.”), Gavin Duff, John Moriarty, Mike McCormack.

 

In an enjoyable and robust Twitter debate, Rosita Boland of the Irish Times took issue with the idea that O’Rowe, McCormack or O’Reilly were overlooked. This is a fair point, as all three do get excellent coverage in the Irish Times and on RTÉ, and O’Rowe has a powerful, thoughtful patron in Michael Colgan of the Gate Theatre.

 

Others on Twitter (some of them from lands far from Ireland) suggested Philip O Ceallaigh, Ken Bruen, and Dermot Healy, but it’s hard to think of these excellent, award-winning and acclaimed writers as being “overlooked” in any meaningful way.

 

As for Irish language writers – I’m not qualified to judge. They could all be geniuses for all I know.

 

 

2. Who are the contemporary European writers from other countries that are writing compelling fiction?

 

I’d only be bullshitting you if I tried to answer that question. My pitiful French, street-German, bar-Spanish and school-Irish are not remotely good enough to make literary judgements. I can barely mangle my way through comics in any of them. So, for me, all of European mainland literature is at the mercy of the quality of its translators, which makes me reluctant to judge. For all I know, I should be praising the translator, not the original writer. If you read my first book in Swedish, you would think I was a genius. If you read my first book in German, you would think I was a fool. So it goes. In fact, I strongly suspect that the Swedish translator of my first novel is a better writer than me, and wrote a better book. Molle Kanmert’s emails asking me questions were far funnier than mine, and the Swedish version outsold every other version. Someone sign her up for a novel…

 

3. Do you want your work to be translated? Why or why not?


Of course I do. I want readers. I want to be understood, I want to be misunderstood, I want to get into fights, I want to swim in the Dead Sea, I want to die in my swimsuit, I want to visit Siberia (but leave again), I want to butt in on your national conversation, drink your national drink, shoot and stuff your national bird, eat your national icecream, kiss your poets and pat your dogs and weep at the airport as we hug each other and exchange email addresses and our respective national varieties of flu.

 

4. Are there enough publishing outlets in Ireland for contemporary fiction? Is there a market for literary fiction in Ireland?

 

Well, we have the usual situation that arises when you share a language with a larger neighbour. A perverse, S&M relationship. You fight your oppressor & occupier for 800 years, get your freedom, then immediately ask  them for a publishing deal. Just as Bosnian writers seek Croatian publishers, Irish writers seek English publishers. Of course, English publishers seek Irish writers, so it’s a healthy, wholesome S&M relationship. 80% of Irish novels come out of London publishing houses. There’s always a slight tension in that relationship, of course, because some of your jokes and references won’t be understood by your publisher. But London publishers are very good at making sure that doesn’t become a problem, and that the integrity of the work is protected. They have to navigate the same issues with Welsh and Scottish and Indian and Australian novelists, so it’s not a big deal. There are a lot of small, very noble but very undercapitalised Irish publishers, but they have great difficulty hanging on to their writers if a UK publisher offers a decent advance. Or any advance at all.

 

We don’t really have a problem with lack of recognition, lack of outlets. The best Irish writers get recognised, usually in London first, after which the Irish literary establishment falls into line.  Ireland very, very seldom discovers its own writers first. Roddy Doyle had to take out a bank loan to publish the Commitments in Ireland. After which, he was picked up by an English publisher.

 

That has an interesting effect, though. Knowing that you are addressing sixteen UK readers for every one Irish reader, in a very mild way your book goes into translation in your head, as you write it. Most Irish writers will deny this, but I think it’s true. Of course I was born in London to emigrant Irish parents, so I feel equally at home, or not at home, in both places.

 

 

5. Given a choice, would you prefer a faithful, literal translation of your work or an interpretive re-imagining of it? Why?

 

An interpretive re-imaging, definitely. I don’t think a “faithful, literal” translation of my work – of any work - is even possible. If a translation were to be literal, it wouldn’t be faithful, and vice versa. Any decent writer is playing with nuances, rhythms, echoes, soundstuff that will evaporate in any literal translation. I like a lot of layers. Puns, resonances, double-meanings, Tipperaryisms, things my mum says at Christmas. Often the point of the sentence hasn’t anything to do with its literal meaning at all.

 

I use deliberately “wrong”, literal translations of phrases from the Irish language sometimes myself, because they sound fecking great in English. Friends of my dad would still say “I walked several strong miles”, and that is straight out of the Irish.

 

The Jude books are deliberately written in a stilted, old-fashioned, formal English, of the type spoken in Ireland a century ago. It’s the first-generation English of speakers who learnt English in school, from books, because their parents spoke Irish at home. For me this is a very rich form of English, because you can let the underlying Irish thoughts, structured in Irish grammar, burst through now and again. There is always a nice tension in the speech, as though Jude is walking on linguistic stilts, and has to be careful. He is trying to be terribly precise with a language he doesn’t really control or own.

 

Sometimes the games I play with the various versions of English are fairly explicit, as in the case of this head injury in Jude in London:

 

           “Their noble Tipperary speech reminded me of my mental catastrophe. I looked up from my book, and took the opportunity to experiment with my deformity: I spoke a Catholic thought, and it came out Church of England: I praised a fine All-Ireland semi-final performance by the Tipperary Under-21 hurlers against Kilkenny; and from my mouth came alien speech of an F.A. Cup semi-final replay at Villa Park.

           Sweet Mother of Jesus, I thought, astonished, and

           “Queen of Heaven!” I said.

           Christ on a bicycle, I thought.

           “Good Lord!”

           Holy fuck.

           “Blessed Union!”


           I gave up the attempt to accurately express myself, and returned to my book.”

 

 

I must be a real bastard for translators, because increasingly I like to back-engineer scenes so that a crucial line of narrative, thrown up by the action, is also a line of poetry by Yeats, or a line of dialogue is also a line of Joyce, or Kafka, or is made out of Radiohead song titles. They can be tricky to spot - most of my native-English readers miss most of them. And I also use the misunderstandings and gaps between American English and English English and Irish English to generate jokes and misunderstandings, and moments of unease.

 

 

A single English word sings in many voices, and I like to set off a couple of them, and make my words sing harmonies with themselves, or beat each other up. I doubt if anyone but me gets the half of it, but I think readers find pleasure in it anyway. I remember a woman on a blog quoting her favourite piece of my writing. She said she couldn’t put her finger on why she liked it so much. Well, I could. It was the end of a chapter, and I’d written it in iambic pentameter. Because it was laid out like prose, she hadn’t consciously registered the formal rhythm, the internal rhymes. But subconsciously, she got it...

 

That makes me sound too much of a word wizard – I should also say that most of my sentences are extremely straightforward attempts to get a character through a door in such a way that the reader understands it without having to read it twice, and I don’t always even succeed at that.

 

 

{EDIT: OK, I'm getting Repetitive Strain Injury from putting in links to all these bastards, enough for tonight. Hope you enjoyed it, if you got this far. I'll link a few more lads tomorrow. Your comments are very welcome.}



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    The State of Irish Literature 2010 - Blog - Julian Gough's website

Reader Comments (36)

Agree agree, how I agree! Mostly. I have been harping on to whoever will listen about the sad rainy state of modern Irish lit. Agree about ROCK too, he is the Celtic Tiger's Adrian Mole... but less accessible for those not familiar with Irish culture than Mole was for those not familiar with Britain.
Anne Enright does explore modern Ireland particularly well in her short stories, though I have to say her novels leave me cold. (and confused.)
Kevin Barry's short stories are savage diamonds. If you know what I mean. Hurry up with the novel.
February 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNiamh
I must say I agree with a lot of this, and not just because I'm an Irish writer who blogs. A lot of what should be good leaves me cold, and very few people seem to write about Ireland in a way that I immediately recognise as authentic (with the exception of Anne Enright). I do definitely think that Irish writing on the Internet is an untapped resource of great potential - though that said, I don't really get Twenty Major, and I don't think I ever have.

I loved Jude by the way, read it as I was moving from Berlin back to Ireland. Laughed like a crazy man.
February 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commentershane
Agree agree oh how I agree. There are "great" "other" Irish writers out there, as many here have testified, but the funeral in the rain wins the prizes. Agree with the comment on Clare Keegan also: I threw Walk the Blue Fields down in disgust when I got to the priest questioning his vocation. ( I did come crawling back though and there is beauty to behold within, but nothing more...nothing that says ANYTHING interesting about Ireland today.) Indeed in Richard Ford's judges summation of the entries he received for the Davy Byrne prize of last year he lamented the lack of humour (or homosexuality) in the submissions. Yet he chose Keegan's story, which seems to be set at least thirty years ago, as the winning entry. Go figure.
Anne Enright deals with modern Ireland nicely in her short stories, though I wouldn't read The Gathering again if you gave me an Arts Council Grant.
Also agree about ROCK-an Adrian Mole of modern Ireland, so precisely observed that it won't sell anywhere else but here.
February 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNiamh
Thanks, The Scabbard and thanks (I think) to Swiss...

Eimear, I nearly missed your comment, sorry. I think it (and comments from Tom Vowler and Swiss) arrived while I was still replying to Declan. Is Tenderwire Claire Kilroy's best, then? I shall seek it out. I like her.

Shane, delighted, thanks...

Tom, buy your girlfriend a coffee on me. Obviously a woman of exquisite taste. I'll pay you back...

Niamh, I agree with your positive comments, and will exercise my right to remain silent on your (very thoughtful and interesting), er, less positive comments, as the hole I am standing in is of the perfect depth.
February 15, 2010 | Registered CommenterJulian Gough
Reading your rant was interesting and I agree with much said. but I am stunned as always that you left out emer martin. She is the most exciting Iyoung rish writer right now and completely overlooked. Her novel Breakfast In Babylon was a contemporary masterpiece about young Irish and Europeans living on the fringes in Paris. More Bread Or I'll Appear was about a family scattered to the wind in the 90's and her recent novel was the best novel written by any contemporary author in any country, Baby Zero. there were scenes in Dublin Mosques with muslim refugees, that's not living in the past. Baby Zero was a futuristic complex story beautifully told with a kind of science fiction light touch. Read it. Where are the women in your argument. As usual it's just a boys club for all you guys. When her book came out
Was she interviewed in the Irish times? no.
Was she featured on RTE? no
Ryan Tubridy Book club? No. (but he does all the boys)
The amazing thing is when her book came out it was immediately assumed to be chick lit becasue she was a woman.
Sexism is alive and well.
February 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteraisling
Ah Julian, a great article fabulous points. However, ear to the ground, nose in the shit I would have to point you in the direction of Dave Lordan and Elaine Feeney who are releasing poetry collections with Salmon later this year and who are both sublime fictions writers, as yet unrealised by the world of publishing. Then of course there is me, but modestly forbids me from elaborating. Look out for my first novel 'The First-Born Bastard of a Battered Wife'. Look out for me on a cloudless night when you are at despair's edge.

'I am the new species, I am what is thundering down the tracks'. Dave Lordan

'All will love me and despair'. random middle earth elf bird.

Peace
and two veg.
February 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFesty Blake
finally! I too was wondering where the mention of the cult writer Emer Martin was in all debates about contemporary Irish Literature. She's not very prolific, only three novels in ten years or more (mind you Flaubert only wrote 4 and joyce 4) but I've read all she's written and you're right peter, not many where she comes from, when her last book the masterpiece, or should i say mistresspiece was out Baby Zero, all the newspapers kept on bringing up chick lit. It was baffling. Was that all they expected from women writers in this country? It was very well reviewed but never could see it in a shop, had to order it online, while many other lesser writers were getting their own displays in Dublin shops.
I went to see her read with Irvine Welsh in An Cuirt in Galway and the full page write up in hotpress about the event didn't mention her, despite her reading being the most mind blowing of the festival and there were only three performers at that session. It seems to me that writers like herself who cannot be pigeonholed and who are not writing the usual whimsical shit that literary types are so fond of get written out of history because no one knows where to put her.
Also Peter Murphy John the Revalator (sp?) was a great tour de force,
This is good to have a dialogue because I too was sick of all the shite the literary establishment were getting lauded for, a lot of big awards for a lot of shite recently,
February 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteraisling
Hi there,

The Sunday Toimes picked up on this today, which is how I came to find your cool blog, nothing like the oxegen of publicity, eh Julian. Been having a root around, loved 'In The Jar' , twas really good (for a modern guy) hehe. Anyway, I'll back that up with hard cash too, what happens next? what happened before? I must know. I shall know.

This is all a bit off-topic, I'll get to that by-the-by, but first I would like to say the standard of the comments here is excellent, particularly Brian and Andrew and Keith (but wtf are GTA and GIN?!). If it's anything to go on our literary future is in safe hands. And what with the return of our old comfort blanket, misery, to our benighted island, we can expect lots more potential writers will be getting down to it soon.

Much of modern writing leaves me cold and book reviews are unreliable and compromised, however I fear not, there's always good stuff to read. Who cares where it came from or when it was written. I'll never get around to it all unless I get my own personal groundhog day experience (which is unlikely).

Of the new writers I've read lately: O'Neill's Netherland > underwhelming, Keegan's WtBF (What the Bloody Fuck! hehe)> very good, captures some of the mad stuff I always suspected was going on in the heads of some rural Irish women, and Declan Lynch's The Rooms> solid debut I thought. What you read and what you make of it is all a matter of personal taste of course.

As a member of that ever diminishing caste of people whose element is digging in the dirt (earth), kitchen drama, livestock, emotional repression etc., i.e. a young unwashed farmer, my personal bugbear is the lit-types abhorrence of our fine heritage in this genre. I don't want to read any poor pastiches of it tho, set in the sixties (yawn), when there's a lot that could be said about rural Ireland now in the 21st century. There's still a lot of emotional immaturity, abuse of all sorts of things and people, repression (again) and it's all wrapped up with x-boxes and cocaine and empty housing estates and young wans who want to be Colleen Rooney, sure how would you make sense of it? Oh right, that's what writers do, make sense of it. Oh but they're all busy writing about cricket in New York and Turkish whorehouses and sure who wants to read (face up to, make sense of) that ould rural misery sthick. Well, it's a goldmine, I tells ya, a literary goldmine populated by the craziest (mentally unstable, delusional) bunch of fuckers in the world.

Jasus, sorry about the rant ppl, but there it is.
February 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdave
Aishling, you're quite right, I was channeling Norman Mailer when I ranted. I'll buy, and read, Baby Zero, I've been meaning to read Emer Martin for years. As I mention in the piece above, I pretty much gave up on reading Irish fiction a few years back after a dozen too many disappointments, and her books fell victim to that blanket boycott. Unless an Irish book was hurled at my head by someone I trusted, it didn't get read. Breakfast in Babylon, being set in Paris among bohemian expats, sounded from the outside like your typical autobiographical first novel, so I let it pass and thought I'll catch up with her later when she's found her own voice. And I never got round to it. As you say, it was hard to tell what kind of book Baby Zero was, from the Irish reviews...

Dave, I think you'd love There Are Little Kingdoms. Kevin Barry catches the bent space-time of modern Irish farming in a couple of those stories.

Best of luck Festy, thanks for the tips...

Peter, thanks for the link, I remember that excellent post of yours on punk and Irish literature very well. (Go click on it there kids.) I didn't mention your book (Peter Murphy wrote John the Revelator, boys & girls), because I haven't read it yet, sorry! I do own a copy, it's back in Berlin. I'll read it, after Baby Zero...

Keep on kicking me in the shins and raving about the people I've forgotten. One thing I wanted out of this debate was a bunch of passionate recommendations. I know I've missed people. Tell me who.

Got to run, I don't have internet access at the minute (I'm about 7 timezones away from home, trying to finish a book), but I'll check in...
February 22, 2010 | Registered CommenterJulian Gough
Hi Julian,

Re: comments about Cathal Coughlan and Microsdisney. Here is a a slice from a mid-1980s documentary film (GUESTS OF ANOTHER NATION) about the young Irish in London. Some of that limbo preserved in aspic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qP8XXQCnkao

All the best,

John
March 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Fleming
Think you might like this: A fox, a Hound, and Other Market Tales

See Washington Post 2/15/10:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/14/AR2010021402895.html
March 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel Greenberg
Hi Julian, was directed to this particular post by a friend. There are plenty of interesting writers in Ireland who are not writing about the 50's, fields etc. e.g Orfhlaith Foyle, Geraldine Mills, Blanaid McKinney (where did she go?). Síofra O'Dononvan brought out a fine novel a fe years ago. OK it was set partly in WW2 Poland, but it was damn fine writing. 'Malinski' it ws called.
My collection Nude is about sex and the breakdown of love, my novel You is set in the 1980's in Dublin. Go seek!
The problem is perhaps publicity - only a handful of books get any notice at all and they are usually by the usual suspects.
G'luck with the poetry collection.
Nuala
May 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNuala Ní Chonchúir
Emerald Noir seems to be the latest fashion.

There is a good blog called "Detectives Beyond Border" (there are links on my blogs)
where trends in thriller writing are discussed by writers from around the World.

Some interesting ideas here.

Please feel free to comment on photos and links on my blog.
Discussion helps clear the mind...
July 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaria Buckley
I agree with the point in Q3 about writing thriving on the internet.
I've had a difficult struggle trying to get published and just get my work out there, and I find blogging an easy, and quick way to to accomplish just that. I haven't yet taken to twitter, for (very) short poems as I am still getting to grips with this blogging thing, not to mention that most of my work would be classed as short stories.

Feel free to read and critiuque - http://jcstorylibrary.blogspot.com/

JC
December 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJC
I am glad I found you. Fun blog.
January 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Malter

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