Archive for the ‘Ireland’ Category

Why Pamela Hansford Johnson disliked Iris Murdoch

Pamela Hansford Johnson

Iris Murdoch

Lesley Chamberlain begins:

It was the only time they met, and apparently Murdoch, the younger of the two, left no record of it. Johnson by contrast was full of venom:

Iris is heavy, low-slung, grotesque in appearance: he is little and stuttering, with a fluting voice. I rather liked him. But she is nervy, socially ill at ease, and not my thing at all. She is profoundly and deeply feminine, despite appearances: all those frilly heroines are compensation figures. I hate to seem a bitch towards her – I think her life hasn’t been easy. This doesn’t mean I can stand the incoherence of her novels.

This extraordinary passage comes from Johnson’s diaries, of which her recent biographer Wendy Pollard has made first and excellent use. Pamela Hansford Johnson Her Life, Works and Times was published in 2014 and I’ll be reviewing it in a future issue of The Times Literary Supplement.

PHJ, as her biographer calls her, was just coming up to fifty at the time. Murdoch was seven years her junior.

New work by Hernán Neira to be published in Interlitq in March 2017

Hernán Neira

Hernán Neira

New work by Hernán Neira, the Chilean author who contributed to Issues 12, 17  y 19 of Interlitq, will be published in the review in March 2017.

  1. Una modesta proposición (in Spanish), a work for the theatre, inspired by “A Modest Proposal For Preventing The Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being A burden to Their Parents or Country, and For Making Them Beneficial to The Public” by Jonathan Swift.
  2. An extract in Spanish from Neira’s novel Ameland: El Naufragio de la Luz, also translated into the English.

 

Jennifer Johnston Lifetime Achievement Award/ Video

Jennifer Johnston

Jennifer Johnston

The Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2015 – here we have a look back at the tribute and acceptance speech for Jennifer Johnston’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 – featuring Roddy Doyle & Donal Ryan.

“I have great admiration for the work of Mary Lavin…”: Diarmaid Ferriter

Mary Lavin: “She tackled social taboos, the dark forces of family life and the private battles to maintain a spirited defiance in the face of class prejudices and cruelties; a social reality far removed from the official image of nationalist Ireland.”

Mary Lavin: “She tackled social taboos, the dark forces of family life and the private battles to maintain a spirited defiance in the face of class prejudices and cruelties; a social reality far removed from the official image of nationalist Ireland.”

Diarmaid Ferriter writes:

I have great admiration for the work of Mary Lavin, who published her first collection of short stories, Tales from Bective Bridge, in 1942, because she did so much that decade and subsequently to skilfully map what she described as the “vagaries and contrarieties” of the human heart, especially the female heart.

She tackled social taboos, the dark forces of family life and the private battles to maintain a spirited defiance in the face of class prejudices and cruelties; a social reality far removed from the official image of nationalist Ireland.

The Long Ago (1944) deals with a girl who elopes, is rejected by her family, but refuses to bend. The Becker Wives (1946) gives us an insight into middle-class tensions and snobberies, the constant pressures to conform and the way in which those who did not were cast aside.

She also drew heavily on her own experiences and her complex psychology to delineate the conflicts of the mind; the delusions, the desires and how they are managed, but her craft was not just about depicting bleakness, as seen in The Middle of the Fields (1967), about the independence of widows, who do no wallow in grief but adapt, confront and liberate themselves.

Diarmaid Ferriter is Professor of Modern Irish History at UCD.

Brian Inglis’s “The Forbidden Game” re-released by Endeavour Press

 

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Interlitq‘s U.S. General Editor Neil Langdon Inglis wishes to announce that Endeavour Press has re-released (in Kindle form) the landmark social history of drugs written by his father, “The Forbidden Game” (originally published by Hodder & Stoughton, 1975).
Brian Inglis was an Irish broadcaster and historian based in London (1916-1993). Uneasy about the professional and critical acclaim he had enjoyed in the UK over two decades, Inglis relished the opportunity to scrutinize the British Empire’s ignominious motivations where stimulants and narcotics were concerned. In Inglis’s portrayal, Parliament has been endlessly torn between the urge to impose puritanical crackdowns and the lust for tax revenue, itself a form of addiction.  The Crown’s hypocrisy is further laid bare, given that certain stimulants (the great British cuppa among them) stimulate energy and hard work, rather than stupor and laxity, and have thus received the government’s stamp of approval.
The following year (1976), Inglis’s researches led to the publication of his epic indictment of Britain’s role in the opium trade (“The Opium War,” originally published by H&S, 1976), which is also available from Endeavour in Kindle form.
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