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Diary

Robert Walshe: Bumping into Beckett, 7 November 1985

... Wales’ Work by a mysterious process of osmosis. My Marlow, if I dare call him that, is named Robert Racine and has no connection with Raymond Chandler, who never lived in the Rue Jacob. It is now clear that ‘Racine’ evolved out of my brush with la Champmeslé and her successors; where the rest came from is open to conjecture. But there I ...

Paley’s Planet

Robert Walshe, 17 April 1986

Three of a Kind 
by Rachel Ingalls.
Faber, 141 pp., £8.95, October 1985, 0 571 13606 0
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Home Truths 
by Mavis Gallant.
Cape, 330 pp., £9.95, November 1985, 0 224 02344 6
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Later the Same Day 
by Grace Paley.
Virago, 211 pp., £8.95, November 1985, 0 86068 701 5
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... I have been asking myself lately why reading collections of short stories should be a slog, and I think I have found the answer. It’s the problem of the rich man with a closet full of new shoes. Rich men, as we all know, do not buy a single pair of shoes at a time; they buy ten different models, and in order to distribute them equally throughout five houses in various parts of the world, their hard-pressed valets find themselves staggering out of the shops with something like fifty pairs, if I have done my sums correctly, and that is where the trials begin ...

Thirty Years Ago

Patrick Parrinder, 18 July 1985

Still Life 
by A.S. Byatt.
Chatto, 358 pp., £9.95, June 1985, 0 7011 2667 1
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Wales’ Work 
by Robert Walshe.
Secker, 279 pp., £8.95, July 1985, 9780436561450
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... a strong conviction that they are showing us living things, and morally significant characters. Robert Walshe’s Wales’ Work is a novel about a practical joker which itself resembles an elaborate series of practical jokes, prodigally inventive, curiously inconsequential, and funny or not according to taste. Much of this first novel is set in ...

When Ireland Became Divided

Garret FitzGerald: The Free State’s Fight for Recognition, 21 January 1999

Documents on Irish Foreign Policy. Vol. I: 1919-22 
edited by Ronan Fanning.
Royal Irish Academy and Department of Foreign Affairs, 548 pp., £30, October 1998, 1 874045 63 1
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... in these efforts later became prominent members of the new Irish state’s diplomatic service. Joe Walshe, for example, who was Secretary of the Department of External Affairs from 1922 until 1946; Michael MacWhite, who had served in the French Foreign Legion during the Great War and was Irish Permanent Representative to the League of Nations in the ...

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