Pursued by a Bear »

  • Galway Arts Festival

    May 28, 2010 @ 4:09 pm | by Fiona McCann

    With the plethora of festivals on the go these days, it’s hard not to get a leeetle bit jaded when it comes to another festival launch. But then you take a look at the programme and you manage to get all excited all over again. Especially given that this year’s Galway Arts Festival, which runs from July 12 to 25, boasts a new Druid-produced Enda Walsh play called Penelope, the return of the Corn Exchange’s feted Freefall, jazz performer extraordinaire Brad Mehldau, a reading by Bret Easton Ellis, and a screening of the new Spike Jonze film I’m Here. For more information on the other goodies to come, click here.

    As a fine Friday sign- and send-off, how about a little Brad Mehldau meets Radiohead. As you can see, they get along famously.

  • It’s for you-rovision

    May 26, 2010 @ 3:16 pm | by Fiona McCann

    It’s Eurovision time again and I can just tell from this yiz are all on the edges of yizzer seats. Last night’s semi final saw Greece, Portugal, Belarus, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Moldova, Russia, Serbia, Belgium, Albania and Iceland all qualify for Saturday’s finals, while our own Niamh Kavanagh battles for a place tomorrow night. What are her chances? Do we care? Are we all just tuning in with arched eyebrows and strong doses of irony, or are we really, deep down, still hoping for some of that old Eurovision magic. Cast your mind back to former winnners and remember the glories of past Eurovisions, to the nail biting finals and the dodgy phone lines, the endless process of amassing points. The hairdos and outfits, and the songs, like Nicole’s A Little Peace . . .


  • Something for Friday

    May 21, 2010 @ 4:48 pm | by Fiona McCann

    It’s sunny out there, all Friday and afternoonish so this may not be the most upbeatest of tunes to post, but I do like it a lot. You’ve probably heard this song a jillion times already, and if not the song then the buzz around this musical outfit. If the latter, then judge for yourself. This is Villagers, with Becoming A Jackal.

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  • J.G. Farrell wins the Lost Booker

    May 20, 2010 @ 11:40 am | by Fiona McCann

    Imagine you were a novelist in 1971. Your greatest work had been published the previous year and all eyes were on the Booker prize, until all of a sudden, the judges upped and changed the rules, rendering all novels published in 1970 ineligible for the prize. Forty years later, and the search began for the Lost Booker, the book from that year that fell through the rule-change loop but should have taken a prize. A jury whose members were all born “in or around 1970″ chose six novels for the shortlist, but the public got to choose the winner by voting on the Booker Prize website. And so it was that Liverpool-born JG Farrell scooped the prize for Troubles, beating Muriel Spark’s The Driver’s Seat for the honour. Troubles, the first title in Farrell’s Empire Trilogy –  the second of which, The Seige of Krishnapur, garnered Farrell the Booker Prize in 1973 –  is set in a faded hotel in Wexford to which an ex British Army soldier arrives in search of a woman to whom he thinks he may be engaged. And though Farrell didn’t live to receive his second (or first) Booker – he drowned in 1979 in the sea off Bantry Bay – the book has not been out of print since its first publication. Here’s what Eileen Battersby had to say about it. Anyone else read it?

  • Update: Cinema in the park postponed

    May 13, 2010 @ 3:02 pm | by Fiona McCann

    OK, so maybe it IS as bad as they all make out. The highly anticipated (by me, at least) Cinema in the Park event tonight has been postponed due to nasty weather forecasts (shakes fist at sky). So no Faust in Fitzwilliam Square and no 3epkano to ease you into that Friday feeling after all. I’ll try to keep y’all updated on the new date for same, but keep an eye on their Facebook page just in case they get there first. Now. Back to your Thursdays with you.

  • Movies and music in Fitzwilliam Square

    May 10, 2010 @ 12:46 pm | by Fiona McCann

    Sometimes you hear about things going on about this city that make you believe maybe it’s not as bad as they’re all making out. Like Cinema in the Park, a once-a-month venture bringing classic silent movies to an outdoor screen in Fitzwilliam Square, with a live soundtrack provided by the exceptional 3epkano. The latter consist of a seven piece collective making exquisite music since 2004, and this Thursday they’re kicking off the series by accompanying FW Murnau’s Faust, complete with its famed winged Mephisto. The first Cinema in the Park takes place this Thursday (May 13th) at twilight (around 9.30 p.m., if you must know), with a €5 entrance fee for which you get free tea courtesy of Barry’s. Bring something warm and something to sit on, and get a glimpse inside Fitzwilliam Park as well as the promising combination of some spooky Faust (see below) and 3epkano’s haunting sounds.

  • One book, one Twitter

    May 6, 2010 @ 5:59 pm | by Fiona McCann

    The idea is to get everyone on Twitter to read the same book at the same time. Kind of what creator Jeff Howe a.k.a. Crowdsourcing describes as “one massive international book club.” So there were nominations nominated and votes cast, and now the One Book, One Twitter tweeters are reading Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. They’ve got eight weeks to complete the book, and are required to keep their comments to a strict schedule in order not to ruin the surprise for those who read at a more leisurely pace. What do you think? Given that I’ve just taken over the Irish Times Book Club in the temporary absence of my colleague, Rosita Boland, I’m interested to see what makes people read a book, or join an online book club, and what they glean from the whole heady exercise. Any takers? Online book clubs, yay or nay? Those interested in following the tweetin’ shenanigans, #1b1t is the hashtag to bring you all the latest comments.

  • Beckett to win British election

    May 3, 2010 @ 5:17 pm | by Fiona McCann

    Ok, not quite. But look, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has written a pithy little piece for the Guardian about his hero, our own Samuel Beckett. “It’s that willingness to question the things the rest of us take for granted that I admire most about Beckett; the courage to ask questions that are dangerous because, if the traditions and meanings we hold so dear turn out to be false, what do we do then?” Would it sway your vote? And if Clegg aspires to the Beckettian, what in the world might Cameron and Brown be aspiring to, literarily speaking?

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