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Adams’ Prophecy

Brian Oxley, 15 November 1984

... an immense force, doubling every few years, was working irresistibly to overcome it.’ Was Henry Adams right that the race would be snuffed out not by nuclear Armageddon, ecological disaster, plague, comet, sun-storm etc, but – don’t laugh – the Women’s Movement? What though it’s not among the signs listed in the Bible or Koran like – to stretch ...

Sea Creatures

Peter Campbell, 23 July 1987

Sidney Nolan: Such is life 
by Brian Adams.
Hutchinson, 275 pp., £16.95, June 1987, 0 09 168430 7
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Andrew Wyeth: The Helga Pictures 
by John Wilmerding.
Viking, 208 pp., £25, September 1987, 9780670817665
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Faces 1966-1984 
by David Hockney and Marco Livingstone.
Thames and Hudson, 96 pp., £8.95, June 1987, 0 500 27464 9
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... of his vision was lost in the larger themes and grander schemes of his European phase. Brian Adams’s biography is clumsily written. He trips over himself grievously when he tries to explain things frankly as well as painlessly. He sums up the relationship with the Reeds, which emerges in the book as the most important formative influence on ...

Diary

Ronan Bennett: The IRA Ceasefire, 22 September 1994

... interest. Martin? Does this signify something? Meanwhile, in Belfast, reporters were pressing Adams on the ‘permanent’ issue. Adams observed that ‘complete’ was enough for Albert Reynolds, Dick Spring and President Clinton. A Sunday Tribune journalist at the scene described a British reporter badgering away on ...

The Party and the Army

Ronan Bennett, 21 March 1996

... constitutional party or continue as a front for the IRA. Ignoring renewed protestations from Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness that Sinn Fein is separate from the IRA, that it is a political party with a democratic mandate from its voters, most politicians and observers have, like Major himself, accepted almost without question the Unionist formulation: Sinn ...

Diary

Daniel Finn: IRA Splinter Groups, 30 April 2009

... wing of the Continuity IRA, a splinter group formed in the 1980s by those who worried that Gerry Adams was about to betray the movement. People who get their disillusionment in early can often reap the benefits later, but the CIRA has never managed to capitalise on whatever disillusionment there was at the path taken by ...

Out of the Gothic

Tom Shippey, 5 February 1987

Trillion Year Spree: The History of Science Fiction 
by Brian Aldiss and David Wingrove.
Gollancz, 511 pp., £15, October 1986, 0 575 03942 6
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Eon 
by Greg Bear.
Gollancz, 504 pp., £10.95, October 1986, 0 575 03861 6
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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Trilogy in Four Parts 
by Douglas Adams.
Heinemann, 590 pp., £9.95, September 1986, 0 434 00920 2
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Humpty Dumpty in Oakland 
by Philip K. Dick.
Gollancz, 199 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 575 03875 6
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The Watcher 
by Jane Palmer.
Women’s Press, 177 pp., £2.50, September 1986, 0 7043 4038 0
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I, Vampire 
by Jody Scott.
Women’s Press, 206 pp., £2.50, September 1986, 0 7043 4036 4
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... Brian Aldiss gives his definition of Science Fiction on page one of Chapter One of a five-hundred-page volume. This is admirably bold of him – more timorous scholars tuck their definitions away inconspicuously, or else develop complex excuses for not giving any – as well as being admirably genial. After all, says Aldiss, the definition may be wrong, but it doesn’t matter: ‘we can modify it as we go along ...

Marching Orders

Ronan Bennett: The new future of Northern Ireland, 30 July 1998

... of the DUP and VUPP, formed in 1974, to bring down the Sunningdale Agreement according to which Brian Faulkner, the then-UUP leader, agreed to share power with moderate Nationalists. Faulkner’s compromise was too much for the UUC – the governing body of the UUP. When Faulkner was ditched by the UUC, he took his followers in the UUP and went off to found ...

Ahead of the Game

Daniel Finn: The Official IRA, 7 October 2010

The Lost Revolution: The Story of the Official IRA and the Workers’ Party 
by Brian Hanley and Scott Millar.
Penguin, 658 pp., £9.99, April 2010, 978 0 14 102845 3
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... credit as pioneers, although the compliment is usually offered in the hope of embarrassing Gerry Adams and his comrades. It was the Official IRA that argued, when the IRA split, for an end to armed struggle and in favour of an internal settlement. The Provos finally accepted the idea two decades later, having in the meantime denounced the Officials as ...

Diary

Daniel Finn: Ireland’s Election, 17 March 2011

... electoral pundits could barely find enough superlatives for the role played by Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen in the party’s triumph. Ahern, they said, was a ‘political tsunami’, and Cowen, if anything, even more formidable. This time around, neither Ahern nor Cowen was standing, rightly fearing the vengeance of the electorate. Cowen’s awe-inspiring ...

Diary

Ronan Bennett: Being Irish in New York, 6 April 1995

... America is not usually sympathetic, as one recent comment, prompted by the success of the latest Adams visit, illustrates: ‘the East Coast Irish political circus ... is posturing, tribal, self-indulgent and unhelpful. It’s old-fashioned and it’s lazy’ (the Guardian). A horrible hybrid, particularly offensive to British tastes, has been ...

Diary

Nick Laird: Ulster Revisited, 28 July 2011

... where the bus would be stopped the next day) and shot the three brothers who lived there: John, Brian and Anthony Reavey. (John and Brian died immediately; Anthony died a month later.) Twenty minutes later gunmen entered a house in Ballydougan and shot and killed Joseph O’Dowd and his nephews Barry and Declan, all of ...

Wounds

Stephen Fender, 23 June 1988

Hemingway 
by Kenneth Lynn.
Simon and Schuster, 702 pp., £16, September 1987, 0 671 65482 9
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The Faces of Hemingway: Intimate Portraits of Ernest Hemingway by those who knew him 
by Denis Brian.
Grafton, 356 pp., £14.95, May 1988, 0 246 13326 0
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... text of the man, not of his art. As the writer and war correspondent William Walton said to Denis Brian, ‘a man who has spent all his life inventing fiction keeps on inventing it in his private life.’ The reaction started with the publication of Death in the Afternoon in 1932, the hero of which, as Kenneth Lynn cogently expresses it, is not ‘a haunted ...

Disaster

Ronan Bennett, 16 December 1993

De Valera: Long Fellow, Long Shadow 
by Tim Pat Coogan.
Hutchinson, 772 pp., £20, October 1993, 9780091750305
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... the country. The danger is that they will interpret – indeed are interpreting – the Hume-Adams initiative and the various contacts between the Republican movement and the British and Irish Governments as the writing on the wall. They give every sign of preparing for war. The cargo of arms from Poland, destined for Loyalist ...

Goodbye to the Aether

Brian Pippard, 20 February 1986

Wranglers and Physicists: Studies in Cambridge Mathematical Physics in the 19th Century 
edited by P.M. Harman.
Manchester, 261 pp., £27.50, November 1985, 0 7190 1756 4
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... of the analyst. It was the small discrepancies between prediction and observation that led Adams and Le Verrier to infer the existence of the so far unobserved Neptune, and to calculate with adequate precision where to point the telescope to find it. In this century Pluto was similarly predicted and discovered, and the methods of the French analysts ...

Belfast Diary

Edna Longley: In Belfast , 9 January 1992

... appeared a construction of exile. Field Day’s leading directors – Seamus Deane, Seamus Heaney, Brian Friel and Tom Paulin – are literary kings over the water or over the border. Their locus is a visionary Derry awaiting Jacobite restoration. The novelist Colm Toibin said in his Sunday Independent review of the Field Day Anthology: ‘Unreconstructed ...

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