Declan Kiberd

Declan Kiberd, Professor of Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama at University College Dublin, is the author of Inventing Ireland and Irish Classics.

Demented Brothers: William Trevor

Declan Kiberd, 8 March 2001

George Birmingham, a Church of Ireland clergyman and novelist, wrote in 1926 that the Irish conflict, whatever its roots, could now be reduced to a matter of style:

In Catholicism there seems to be a certain suavity, the result of a feeling of security. Protestantism is another name for aggression in religion. The Catholic spirit belongs to the man who is comfortably aware of being one of the...

Astride a White Horse: Bridget Clearly

Declan Kiberd, 6 January 2000

In the spring of 1998 a Dutch TV crew arrived in the parish of Moyvane, Co. Kerry. They were making a documentary about poetry and landscape, and interviewed a farmer about a fairy-mound in one of his fields near the village. He explained that for many local people it was a forbidden place, and that he had never dared to plough it over because of the distress it would cause. As he was saying this, his mobile phone rang. The TV crew carried on filming as he transacted his business. ‘Tell us, sir,’ the interviewer said when he’d finished, ‘a modern man like you surely does not believe in the little people.’ ‘Of course I don’t,’ he chortled. ‘But I’m very frightened of ’em.’‘

Playboys of the GPO

Colm Tóibín, 18 April 1996

‘The most important thing we have done is that we have made a modern art, taking our traditional art as a basis, adorning it with new material, solving contemporary problems with a national...

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Pen Men

Elaine Showalter, 20 March 1986

One of the more useful side-effects of the widely-publicised troubles at the International PEN Congress held this January in New York may ironically have been the new timeliness which Norman...

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