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End of Story

Robert Taubman

20 November 1980
A Humument 
by Tom Phillips.
Thames and Hudson, 367 pp., £12, October 1980, 0 500 09146 3
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The Past 
by Neil Jordan.
Cape, 232 pp., £6.50, October 1980, 0 224 01845 0
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Black Tickets 
by Jayne Anne Phillips.
Allen Lane, 194 pp., £5.95, October 1980, 0 7139 1354 1
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... of the last generation, whose manner is taken to the point of parody in a chapter that describes Rene’s leg as she poses for a photograph. But objectivity could be arid in the ‘new novel’, and NeilJordan is both more questioning and more imaginative. A bafflement by life isn’t just blankly recorded here: it releases in the narrator an imagination especially sympathetic to others in their ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: What’s in a name?

19 October 2000
... on the Booker Prize shortlist, we have Margareta’s Gowns (Birmingham), Trez Motors, five variations on Michael Collins (but he’s probably used to it, since Liam Neeson starred as him in that NeilJordan film a few years ago), Kazoo3D, Matthew Kallenberg-Pierce and Brian O’Connor; and then there’s Zadok and Zadok. Incidentally, de Bernières’s most successful novel is still safe: the ...
21 November 1985
Money into Light 
by John Boorman.
Faber, 241 pp., £4.95, September 1985, 0 571 13731 8
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... in a huge inflatable dome in Paris. As Philip French notes in a foreword to the diary, Boorman has made it his business to offer arm’s-length help on the set to young film-makers – the novelist NeilJordan was a protégé – and to foster the film industry in Ireland, where he now makes his home; and from time to time in Money into Light one detects the teacher’s voice. In Paris, in July 1983 ...

Saint Jane

D.A.N. Jones

20 October 1983
The Good Father 
by Peter Prince.
Cape, 204 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 224 02131 1
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Mrs Pooter’s Diary 
by Keith Waterhouse and John Jensen.
Joseph, 208 pp., £7.95, October 1983, 0 7181 2339 5
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Dandiprat’s Days 
by David Thomson.
Dent, 165 pp., £8.50, September 1983, 0 460 04613 6
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The Dream of a Beast 
by Neil Jordan.
Chatto, 103 pp., £6.95, October 1983, 0 7011 2740 6
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Squeak: A Biography of NPA 1978A 203 
by John Bowen and Eric Fraser.
Faber, 127 pp., £2.95, October 1983, 0 571 13170 0
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The Life and Times of Michael K 
by J.M. Coetzee.
Secker, 250 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 436 10297 8
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... of derangement, is to make use of our shared knowledge of dreams. Telling other people our dreams often bores them. But anyone who has been taken by the writing of Traherne, or Rimbaud, may turn to NeilJordan’s novel, The Dream of a Beast, without fear of tedium. What happens to the narrator is pleasingly tangible and sensuous, stimulating excitement without fear. The dreamer takes it for granted ...

Speaking British

Thomas Jones

30 March 2000
The Third Woman 
by William Cash.
Little, Brown, 318 pp., £14.99, February 2000, 0 316 85405 0
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Greene on Capri: A Memoir 
by Shirley Hazzard.
Virago, 149 pp., £12.99, January 2000, 1 86049 799 3
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... its obvious attractions for a filmmaker. There’s plenty of opportunity for showing reverse-angle replays of scenes that are told from both points of view, one of the few aspects of the story that NeilJordan exploits to full effect in his film. One of the most famous ‘moments of cinema’ of the last ten years is Dil slipping out of her dressing-gown in Jordan’s The Crying Game to reveal that ...


Jenny Diski: Rape-Rape

5 November 2009
... matter pursued. Then I got twitchy when I read the petition written by Bernard-Henri Lévy, and signed by Paul Auster, Milan Kundera, William Shawcross, Claude Lanzmann, Salman Rushdie, Mike Nichols, NeilJordan, and, to bring up the female numbers, Diane von Furstenberg, the Isabelles Adjani and Huppert, Yamani Benguigui, Danièle Thompson and Arielle Dombasle. It reads: Apprehended like a common ...

Hairy Fairies

Rosemary Hill: Angela Carter

10 May 2012
A Card from Angela Carter 
by Susannah Clapp.
Bloomsbury, 106 pp., £10, February 2012, 978 1 4088 2690 4
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... the miners’ strike, Fay Weldon published Life and Loves of a She-Devil, with its huge and ugly heroine. The next year produced both Carter’s film The Company of Wolves, a horror story directed by NeilJordan, in which the heroine turns into a wolf, and Nights at the Circus, whose winged protagonist is, as Carter emphasises, ‘a big girl’. Her misjudged but reiterated contempt for Penelope ...


Paul Muldoon: Hiberno-English Shenanigans

1 July 1999
... he’d build a nest in your ear.’ Dolan expands on the use of the word hoor with a range of examples from the writings of Patrick Kavanagh, Brian Friel, Tim Pat Coogan, Oliver St John Gogarty, NeilJordan and Hugh Leonard. It’s a method that seems to be at once academically sound and, for those committed to a long weekend in England and Wales carrying only one bag and one book, perfect for a ...
13 September 1990
... the chips were down he would be able to count on Hugh Gaitskell, only to be sadly disappointed, he would note, with a tinge of envy, the degree of political support enjoyed by Margaret Thatcher, with Neil Kinnock and Gerald Kaufman endorsing her every move. In normal times issues of international law are seen as a recondite speciality: in moments of stress they turn out to be of crucial importance. In ...

‘What is your nation if I may ask?’

Colm Tóibín: Jews in Ireland

30 September 1999
Jews in 20th-century Ireland: Refugees, Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust 
by Dermot Keogh.
Cork, 336 pp., £45, March 1998, 9781859181492
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... novelist David Marcus was literary editor of the Irish Press during the Seventies and Eighties. He published a page of fiction and poetry every week, and this is where many Irish writers, including NeilJordan, Desmond Hogan and Ita Daly, published their first work. His brother Louis Marcus has been one of the guiding spirits of the Irish film industry. Estella Solomon’s brother, Bethel, was a ...

If I Turn and Run

Iain Sinclair: In Hoxton

1 June 2000
by Bill Drummond.
Little, Brown, 361 pp., £12.99, March 2000, 0 316 85385 2
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Crucify Me Again 
by Mark Manning.
Codex, 190 pp., £8.95, May 2000, 0 18 995814 6
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... seen the area – birthplace of Lenny ‘The Guv’nor’ McLean, the Kray Twins et al – mutate from a criminous warren, twinned with the Jago, to a user-friendly film location. The sort of place NeilJordan could shoot The Crying Game without paying protection money. A million ghosted memoirs (golden-hearted mum, dad on the trot from the Army, thieving from bombsites, clip around the ear from PC ...

Class Traitor

Edward Pearce

11 June 1992
Maverick: The Life of a Union Rebel 
by Eric Hammond.
Weidenfeld, 214 pp., £16.99, March 1992, 0 297 81200 9
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... already. Hammond is his natural union leader, his choice of spokesman. And Eric Hammond is still a member of the Labour Party, and his chapter on relations with it demonstrates a friendly view of Neil Kinnock and the interesting fact that he suggested to Mr Kinnock before the ’87 election that it should commit itself to staging a referendum on unilateral disarmament. Characteristically, though ...


Conor Gearty: On Michael Collins

28 November 1996
... Manchester and Lisburn, it should have been back to silence and material success. But a complication has emerged, which threatens to bar our family’s return to its amnesiac state. Michael Collins, NeilJordan’s film, is not about us as a family, but we are part of its revolutionary story and provide much of its romance. In May 1917, Michael Collins came down for a few days to Longford, one of ...

A New Kind of Being

Jenny Turner: Angela Carter

3 November 2016
The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography 
by Edmund Gordon.
Chatto, 544 pp., £25, October 2016, 978 0 7011 8755 2
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... and she revels in the ‘beautiful fur’ beneath it. The Erlking’s songbirds, each with ‘the crimson imprint of his love-bite’ on her throat. For all these reasons – and because of the film NeilJordan made of it, The Company of Wolves (1984) – The Bloody Chamber quickly became a set text in schools and universities. ‘I had no intention … of writing illustrative textbooks of late ...

Issues of Truth and Invention

Colm Tóibín: Francis Stuart’s wartime broadcasts

4 January 2001
The Wartime Broadcasts of Francis Stuart 
edited by Brendan Barrington.
Lilliput, 192 pp., £25, September 2000, 1 901866 54 8
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... and was kind and oddly wise and encouraging. Although he never openly sought either success or popularity as a novelist, he became a respected figure in literary Dublin. For example, in 1980, when NeilJordan, at that time the most promising young writer in the country, published his first novel, it seemed natural that Stuart would launch the book. In the early 1980s Penguin reissued Black List ...

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