Philip Larkin

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 Loreto On The Green, Dublin,  students Ruth Redmond, Ashbourne; Amber McCann, Rush; Jane Loughrey, Ranelagh; Eavan O’Toole, Rathgar and  Sophie Dolan, Rathgar, following their Leaving Cert English exam. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Tens of thousands of students breathed a sigh of relief when widely-predicted poets John Montague and Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin appeared on English paper(...)

On Chesil Beach: a solid exercise in applied sadness

If you want a sense of the cultural distinction that once existed between England and the United States you could do worse than set Dominic Cooke’s On(...)

A portrait of author Ian McEwan at the Soho Hotel in London. Photograph: Lauren Fleishman/The New York Times

Ian McEwan’s bananas arrive at the table. “I had a craving for a banana,” he says, half-apologetically: “Would you like one?”  Having just spent(...)

Steve Wall: Revolver is the sound of a band reinventing themselves and not being afraid to lose some of their audience along the way. Photograph: Kathrin Baumbach

After the girls in the family moved out, my grandparents’ front sittingroom didn’t get used too often. The old venetian blinds cast strips of sun acro(...)

Pep Guardiola is routinely venerated as the best manager of his generation. Photograph: Getty Images

You won. Fine. Now win again. Win better. Even in a moment of triumph, with his beautifully engineered seventh domestic title safely stowed away, it i(...)

RTÉ newsreader Don Cockburn.  Photograph: RTÉ Archives

Don Cockburn, who has died in his native Dublin after a short illness, was for many years one of the most recognised faces in Ireland, as anchor of th(...)

‘Previous generations, though just as loving and as full of grief when tragedy struck, had ways of understanding suffering that enabled them to bear it.’ Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

There are times in everyone’s life of inexplicable tragedy. In the last fortnight, within two days, two families in our immediate circle lost much-lov(...)

Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band: a bad thing. Photograph: PA/PA Wire

There are less than two months to go before we reach the 50th anniversary of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The race is on to pen the opening e(...)

David Hockney with his redesigned masthead for a one-off edition of the Sun newspaper. The artist gave qualified approval for Brexit: “The power has spread to the people because that’s what the iPhone has done.” Photograph: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire

A giant David Hockney retrospective, which opened at Tate Britain on Thursday, is the fastest-selling exhibition in the gallery’s history, with 20,000(...)

My old dad  left me his restless work ethic, along with a dodgy heart. Armed with both, I’ve been sorting the seeds for another year in the polytunnel

Besides his widely quoted line about the malignity of your mum and dad, Philip Larkin wrote waspishly about the end game of growing old: “What do th(...)

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