Pursued by a Bear »

  • If you only do one this weekend …

    July 30, 2010 @ 12:34 pm | by Laurence Mackin

    Watch: The Plough and the Stars in the Abbey. A very fine production in the place where it was born around the corner from where it all kicked off in 1916. Is is inevitable that Joe Hanley (below on the right) steals the show as Fluther? (more…)

  • I’ll Caravaggio You In A Minute

    July 27, 2010 @ 9:20 pm | by Laurence Mackin

    Reading the news reports on Dermot Ahern’s Criminal Law (Defence and the Dwelling) Bill last week, I started to wonder what would be to hand should a burglar decide to climb through the window. (more…)

  • Enter, stage right

    @ 9:10 pm | by Laurence Mackin

    As one bear leaves, so another appears, and it is with a huge amount of pleasure and trepidation that I attempt to pick up where the delectable Fiona McCann left off. (more…)

  • Exit, stage left

    July 20, 2010 @ 3:45 pm | by Fiona McCann

    Dear blog-readers, or those of you still left after this latest period of woefully sporadic posting. This bear has been busy preparing the ground for signing off from what has been a wonderful and rewarding project since it was launched over a year ago. Since then there have been posts, festivals, awards (OK, award singular, but who’s counting?), and most importantly, comments, from readers with whom it was largely a great pleasure to engage. Though I’ll be exiting the stage for a while, there will be new voices to liven up the blogosphere, so keep an eye on these parts in the future. In the meantime, a quick bow and a big thank you to all who have read, commented and supported this particular pursuit.

  • Summer in the city

    July 9, 2010 @ 12:24 pm | by Fiona McCann

    If you’re not bound for some musical delights in Kildare this weekend, and perhaps feeling a mite bitter about it, be appeased by the news that Temple Bar is offering up its own mini festival in its stead. Summer Sensational kicked off yesterday, as you can see by my report on it here. But in case you haven’t just clicked on that link, there are oodles of freebies available including tonight’s screening of eighties classic Dirty Dancing. For inimitable lines such as “I carried a watermelon” and “nobody puts Baby in the corner” bellowed from a big screen all across Dublin 2, Meeting House square is the venue tonight. You can even go see singer Julie Feeney perform first, and then stay for the film. And all for free! Who needs Oxegen after all?

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  • A Preparation for Death

    July 2, 2010 @ 1:29 pm | by Fiona McCann

    It’s been over a month since I read Greg Baxter’s A Preparation for Death and I’ve spent the ensuing weeks not quite knowing what to say about it, in part because I know Baxter personally, and in part because I needed to let my thoughts about it settle in the immediate aftermath of turning the last page. At last night’s launch of the book in Waterstones, I was reminded of the power of Baxter’s work and the things that had stayed with me: the precision of his prose, the energy, the urgency, the egocentricity of his writing. Because Baxter can write – beautifully, eloquently, with both care and fervour. He is both in love with and despising of himself, and as such the Greg Baxter he writes into this book and in a sense out of himself, is an aggravating man. Irresponsible, insatiable, he finds his job demeaning but rather than leave it, takes the money and takes the piss. The women in his life are seen through a highly sexualised lens – few become the kind of whole and breathing characters afforded their male counterparts. Yet an irritation with the protagonist/author and his personal focus does not take away from the lucidity of Baxter’s writing, the achievement of this work and the undeniable pleasure to be gleaned from a book that disturbs your thoughts and thus makes you tackle them anew. In fact, if only for his portrait of a vibrant, pulsing, contemporary Dublin – a city that has not been captured thus, ragged and raucous, in any other book to date – A Preparation for Death is worth reading. And I’m not the only one who thinks so.

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