Tóibín tells tales
Pól Ó Muirí
Irish speakers like to speak Irish (naturally) and listen to Irish being spoken. There is something also Homeric in their devotion to the spoken word. On the other hand, Irish speakers are not the quickest down to the shops to buy contemporary fiction in Irish. To that end, Dublin publishers Cois Life have come up with good idea – they have taken some of short stories by one of the language’s most imaginative writers, Seán Mac Mathúna, and have asked the actor Niall Tóibín to record them. The result is what they are calling a Closleabhar, an aural book (€18), with eight stories on four CDs. Tóibín’s reading is both senatorial and sensuous while the stories are original and surprising. It is very much an exercise in loving listening.