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A time that called for giants

A time that called for giants – Jenny FarrellDownload The great Italian painter and architect Raphael died 500 years ago, in April 1520. He lived at the time of the High Renaissance, one of the most progressive periods in history; as Engels put it, “it was the greatest progressive revolution […]

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The triumph of Polish music

FRYDERYK CHOPIN was born on 22 February 1810 in Żelazowa Wola, near Warsaw, to a Polish mother and a French father. He grew up in Warsaw but left Poland in 1831, shortly before the Polish popular uprising against the tsarist oppressors. He moved to Paris, where he lived until his death, aged only thirty-nine, on 17 October 1849.

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A valuable source for young activists

■ Mick O’Reilly, From Lucifer to Lazarus: A Life on the Left (Dublin: Lilliput Press, 2019) Mick O’Reilly’s recently launched book is a must-read for all young activists, as it records how many of the gains achieved and then taken for granted were won through hard struggle and tough battles, […]

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The story of a lifer

Séamus Murphy, Having It Away: A story of Freedom, Friendship and IRA Jailbreak (Bray, Co. Wicklow: Castledermot Press, 2019; €10).
“Having it away” was a slang term in the English prisons of the 1950s for making an escape. It is the title of Séamus Murphy’s account of his imprisonment in Wakefield Prison, Yorkshire.

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A first anthology of working people’s poetry

Jenny Farrell (editor), The Children of the Nation: An Anthology of Working People’s Poetry from Contemporary Ireland (Newcastle upon Tyne: Culture Matters, 2019).
This anthology deals with the identity of the working class, the marginalised, people in precarious employment, the unemployed, the homeless. The title of the collection recalls the pledge made in the Proclamation of 1916.

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Walking with Gandhi

Gabriel Rosenstock, Walk with Gandhi / Bóthar na Saoirse, illustrated by Masood Hussain (Dublin: Gandhi 150 Ireland, 2019, paperback, hardback, and Ebook).
This is a beautiful book to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on 2 October 1869. The book is a collection of haiga—a style of Japanese painting often accompanied by a haiku poem.

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Waiting for Godot

Great Carthage waged three wars. It was still powerful after the first, habitable still after the second. Gone without trace after the third.—Bertolt Brecht (1951).
Samuel Backett died thirty years ago, on 22 December 1989. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature fifty years ago, in 1969.
Arguably Beckett’s most famous play is Waiting for Godot. Typically, when this play today is presented today the comedy of it is emphasised, as is its “absurdist” label, suggesting that life is meaningless. Beckett had moved permanently to France in the late 1930s.

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Thanks, capitalism!

Thanks, capitalism. You started off all right and all, but I’m afraid you have to leave! You’ve eaten, binned or hidden all the food, you’ve drunk all the drink or poured it down the sink, you’ve blocked all the toilets and used up all the paper. You’ve left the taps […]

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Rembrandt: His times and his art

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was one of the greatest Enlightenment painters. He died 350 years ago this month at the age of sixty-three. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the Flemish cloth trade had developed into the strongest competitor of Florentine cloth-makers and traders, giving rise to a growing Dutch […]