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Hollywood cemetery

■ Liam O’Flaherty, Hollywood Cemetery: A Vision of the World to Come (Nuascéalta, 2019). The veteran film-maker Bob Quinn will launch this new edition of Liam O’Flaherty’s novel Hollywood Cemetery, long out of print, at 6 p.m. on Wednesday 10 April at Galway City Library. Published in London in 1935 […]

Culture

Pioneers of women’s emancipation

Priscilla Metscher, Pioneers of Women’s Emancipation in Ireland (Connolly Books, Dublin, 2018) This fascinating study stands out as a commentary on Irish fighters for women’s emancipation, written from a Marxist viewpoint. The author, Priscilla Metscher, examines in turn the ideas and activities of Mary Ann McCracken, Anna Doyle Wheeler, William […]

Culture

Religious fundamentalism in post-socialist Russia

Russian cinema today explores capitalism against the backdrop of a past socialist experience. Open-minded visitors to former socialist states, and particularly to Russia, will come across this living memory and frequently an acknowledgement of the loss of humanist values since the defeat of socialism in Europe. It is interesting too, […]

Culture

Celebrating an African Marxist writer

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o turned eighty this year. He has written prolifically. Arguably his most famous (non-fiction) book is Decolonising the Mind, about the constructive role that language plays in national culture, history, and identity. The reclaiming of African languages as keepers of memory, of African history, became central to Ngũgĩ’s […]

Culture

War destroys not only lives

The 11th of November 2018 is the centenary of the ending of the First World War. During that bloody slaughter the propagandists described it as “the war to end all wars.” A hundred years and as many wars later, the militarists in the United States and Europe—many of them the […]

Culture History

Books – Between sectarianism and neo-liberalism

Paul Stewart, Tommy McKearney, Gearóid Ó Machail, Patricia Campbell, Brian Garvey, Between Sectarianism and Neo-Liberalism: The State of Northern Ireland and the Democratic Deficit (Glasgow: Vagabond Voices, 2018) If, like me, you mourn the loss of intelligent debate among Irish republicans as they descend into the gobbledegook of bourgeois democracy, […]

Culture

Freedom becoming

Thro’ the shattered mainstream of life the waste land bears testimony to the shadow Hear mothers wail for dead children whose fathers slave to re-erect the rubble Upon the rubble their fathers erected This alter for sacrificed generations Build fast! Build furious! Erect the citadels of despair Light high in […]

Culture History

Another world is possible

Twenty years ago, on 8 October 1998, the communist writer José Saramago became the first Portuguese author to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. The first fifty years of Saramago’s life were defined by the fascist dictatorship that ruled Portugal from 1926 to 1974 and his active resistance against it. […]