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Adams’ Prophecy

Brian​ Oxley

15 November 1984
... Inertia of sex could not be overcome without extinguishing the race, yet 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 ...

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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... to the country. He might, like Lowry, have become a famous and well-liked provincial painter. The particularity of his vision was lost in the larger themes and grander schemes of his European phase. BrianAdams’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 ...

Diary

Ronan Bennett: The IRA Ceasefire

22 September 1994
... would endure ‘in all circumstances’. Mayhew said he thought what Martin had had to say was of great 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 ...
21 March 1996
... one of another.’ Sinn Fein, he continued, would now have to decide whether it wanted to be a 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 ...

Diary

Daniel Finn: IRA Splinter Groups

30 April 2009
... occupation, he wouldn’t be the man to stand in their way. Republican Sinn Féin is the political 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 ...
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 ...

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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... radio and watching television without coming across a former Official. The Officials are also given 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 ...

Diary

Daniel Finn: Ireland’s Election

17 March 2011
... Four years ago, when Fianna Fáil was returned for a third consecutive stint in office, 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 ...

Marching Orders

Ronan Bennett: The new future of Northern Ireland

30 July 1998
... in this, the UUUM evolved into the UUUP. The UUUP should not be confused with UUUC, an earlier alliance 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 ...

Diary

Nick Laird: Ulster Revisited

28 July 2011
... at least one RUC officer. At about 6 p.m. three masked men went into a house in Whitecross (near 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 ...

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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... it was the fiction that Hemingway and others had made of his life that held the attention – the 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 ...

Diary

Ronan Bennett: Being Irish in New York

6 April 1995
... as Irish but usually just the one day of the year, which is cool enough.’ The British view of Irish 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 ...

Tight in the Cockpit

Joanna Kavenna: Tim Parks’s ‘The Rapids’

5 May 2005
Rapids 
by Tim Parks.
Secker, 246 pp., £15.99, March 2005, 0 436 20559 9
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... are lessons in the dramatic use of non sequitur. You have to be tight in the cockpit. OK? This isn’t the Thames Estuary. Tight tight tight. The perfect fit. Like sex? ventures a voice. Brian has a fuzz of red hair, a small snubbed nose, droll expression. Actually no, not like sex at all, says Clive patiently. He is wearing a khaki cap. The girls are giggling. As somebody might know, if ...

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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... its subsequent history could be predicted with as much accuracy as desired, subject only to the patience 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 ...

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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... corner they called their state is no more, they kill for the line on the map that continues to partition 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 ...

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