Gatsby anticipation is in the house. We’ve got a ticket for this evening’s 7 pm screening and great are the expectations. Meanwhile, the spin-off industry rumbles on and no (precious) stone is left unturned as it seeks to cash in on the film of the book. F. Scott Fitzgerald was a customer of Tiffany, the [...]
Politicians are, in general, a shoddy lot. Busy stuffing their pockets from the public purse and and stuffing all levels of the bureaucracy with their incompetent relations and clients, they are deserving of the abuse that’s poured upon them. The Danes, however, are different and the current government in Copenhagen has taken remarkable steps to make itself accountable to the people using the full range of communication channels that are available to all. Exemplary.
Published in 1972, Transparent Things is a short novel by Vladimir Nabokov. It tells the story of Hugh Person, a young American editor, who makes four trips to a small village in Switzerland. His third trip involves murder and madness. At one point, in the drawer of the desk in his hotel room, Person finds… [...]
Greg Smith, the Goldman Sachs director who dropped the bomb on Wall Street last week in a public resignation letter, said he was leaving the firm after 12 years because it was “morally bankrupt”. Indignation and outrage, especially in Europe, followed Smith’s condemnation of his ex-employer, but this was tempered by the recognition of the [...]
“Small it was, in the large Roman record, and her haunting sense of the continuity of the human lot easily carried her from the less to the greater. She had become deeply, tenderly acquainted with Rome; it interfused and moderated her passion. But she had grown to think of it chiefly as the place where [...]
The Low Anthem opened for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at the Moody Theatre in Austin, Texas, on Thursday night. For the show’s finale, they joined the Boss, Jimmy Cliff, Eric Burdon, Tom Morello, Joe Ely and Alejandro Escovedo in singing Woody Guthrie’s This Land is Your Land. To celebrate St Patrick’s Day, [...]
From 4 October 1940 until his death on 1 April 1966 , the great Brian O’Nolan, aka Flann O’Brien, wrote a weekly column for The Irish Times titled “Cruiskeen Lawn” (from the Irish crúiscín lán, “full/brimming small-jug”). Using the pseudonym Myles na gCopaleen (“Myles of the Little Horses”), he employed a mix of Irish and [...]
As regular readers may have noticed, Ireland is the theme here this week. With St Patrick’s Day being celebrated around the world on Saturday, it is only right and proper that his adopted homeland should occupy our spotlight. But what would the country’s patron saint make of the place today if he were to return? [...]
“Here’s something you probably didn’t know: X today is the richest country in the European Union after Luxembourg.” Baffled by the location of X? Try these clues: “Yes, the country that for hundreds of years was best known for emigration, tragic poets, famines, civil wars and leprechauns today has a per capita G.D.P. higher than [...]
When James Joyce was living in Zurich and working on Ulysses, he went for a walk one evening by the lake shore and bumped into another exile, the English painter and Ministry of Information employee, Frank Budgen. After exchanging pleasantries, Budgen inquired as to how the novel was progressing and Joyce said that he had [...]
Thus begins The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, which was published on 21 September 1937. Now, 75 years later, it is set to appear as Gaeilge (in Irish) as An Hobad. PR blurb: “Is é Evertype, Cathair na Mart, Contae Mhaigh Eo, an foilsitheoir agus beidh an leabhar amuigh ar 25 Márta 2012. Bainfear [...]
Thanks to Kauto Star, the greatest steeplechaser of the modern era, this will be one of the most exciting Cheltenham Festivals ever. Thursday sees the annual early celebration of of St Patrick’s Day in Gloucestershire, and the huge Irish contingent present at the festival will be betting that some of their native nags can do the business.