Reads of the Week #42


This week I have a poet on poetry, Joe Hill’s centenary, the stories of migrants to Ireland, Irishmen in Workd War I, the curious language that is English and Prufrock: the comic.

Here’s why poetry matters by Anthony Wilson.

Lily Murphy explains the importance of Joe Hill, one hundred years after he was executed.
Sorcha Pollak’s #newtotheparish series for the Irish Times is well worth reading.

Ronan McGreevy writes on the often forgotten Irish volunteers who marched to certain death in World War I

From Aoen Magazine, this is John McWhorter on why English is so weirdly different from other languages

And  here’s Julian Peters’ comic version of TS Eliot’s Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.
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Reads of the Week #41


Reads this week from Dublin, Baltimore, boxing, the web and the workplace battleground…
From Alan Kinsella here’s an inside view of Croke Park.

In this interview Peter Fleming discusses neoliberalism’s war on workers.
Kate Crane wants to know: what happened to her father Eddy?

Roddy Doyle on Paris under attack.
Lydia Monin writes on Dan Donnelly, Irish boxer, scourge of English fighters.

And finally, Tech is raising our kids, so what? asks Alex Balk

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Reads of the Week #40


Milestone upon milestones: forty posts and 250+ articles now collected, keep reading:

First Laura Kennedy on Essena O’Neill: a normal 18-year-old: self-obsessed and narcissistic

Next Dawn Cox on Twitter, Secret Teacher and where the truth lies in education

A powerful piece by Binyavanga Wainaina on how to write about Africa

Completely different but equally compelling, Sarah Boxer on the exemplary narcissism of Snoopy. (Two articles on narcissism this week? Better watch myself [in the mirror!!!])

History choice of the week is Dave Hannigan’s piece on Fenway Park and Irish history.
And finally, Xan Brooks interviews Cate Blanchett, it’s great, she’s great, but you knew that.

Reads of the Week #39


Some heavy hitters here in a good week of reading, mainly because it was midterm and there was time for reading. Time for reading is golden.

James Snell asks though the literary and the historical can co-exist, should they? Should the writers of history make conscious decisions about their work on the basis of little more than style? I would humbly suggest that the answer to both of those questions is yes – and that the writing of history would be greatly improved – both in quality and reach – if more people thought so too. 

Writing history with skill and verve is not a distasteful exercise.

Terry Eagleton writes: As professors are transformed into managers, so students are converted into consumers. Universities fall over one another in an undignified scramble to secure their fees. Once such customers are safely within the gates, there is pressure on their professors not to fail them, and thus risk losing their fees. The general idea is that if the student fails, it is the professor’s fault, rather like a hospital in which every death is laid at the door of the medical staff.

Universities are service stations for neocapitalism.

Reviewing When the Facts Change: Essays by Tony Judt, Nicholas Lezard writes There are one or two big things, however, that the historian Tony Judt changed his mind about, and in this superb collection of essays, which consists mainly of substantial reviews from the New York and London Reviews of Books, we can track at least one of them.

A penetrating eye for realpolitik.

Kate Harding says being kidnapped by a pedophile: it’s basically like summer camp that never ends, if you ask Bill O’Reilly.

Everything Fox News gets horribly wrong about rape culture.

Malcolm Gladwell writes The problem is not that there is an endless supply of deeply disturbed young men who are willing to contemplate horrific acts. It’s worse. It’s that young men no longer need to be deeply disturbed to contemplate horrific acts.

How School Shootings Spread.

To text or not to text… that was never the question. But what if Hamlet or Jane Eyre had got their hands on a mobile phone? Mallory Ortberg introduces her series of literary masterpieces reimagined for the 21st century, Mallory Ortberg in the Guardian.

Literary classics in text messages.

Read of the Week #38


This week: 

The archive of all previous posts is here

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Reads of the Week #37


This week:

The archive of all the previous weeks’ posts is here.

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Reads of the Week #36


This week it’s self critical teachers, gathering the first hand truth of the Holocaust, the life and work of a Dublin centenarian Socialist, the history of Marxism today and finally a grim story of pre-teen sport. 

This is Dawn Cox asking why teachers compare themselves unfavourably with other professions?

Next Alex Lockie on the man who volunteered to enter Auschwitz and exposed the horrors of the Holocaust

From the always readable Come Here to Me Dublin: Max Levitas : 100-year-old Jewish Dubliner and Working Class hero

This is John Harris on the forgotten visionaries whose ideas could save the left

Petula Dvorak’s 10-year-old decided to give ice hockey a try. What followed was dreadful.

Here are all the tweeted links, around 200 of them. 

This is the archive of previous posts