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Paul Durcan's Diary [Paperback]

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Item description for Paul Durcan's Diary by Paul Durcan...

Paul Durcan's Diary by Paul Durcan

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Item Specifications...

Pages   199
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.27" Width: 5.28" Height: 0.79"
Weight:   0.62 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 15, 2004
Publisher   New Island Books
ISBN  1904301401  
ISBN13  9781904301400  

Availability  0 units.

More About Paul Durcan

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Durcan has written seventeen books of poetry and lives in Ireland.

Paul Durcan was born in 1944.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Arts & Literature > Authors
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Criticism & Theory > General
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > History & Criticism > Literary Theory

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Predictable if you've read his poetry  May 20, 2005
There's nothing in this collection of Durcan's RTE (Irish radio) broadcasts that any reader of three decades of his verse would find new or unexpected. This is not meant to damn with faint praise, simply to note that consistency of Durcan's critiques of Catholic institutional/hierarchical hypocrisy, Anglo-American (with emphasis on the latter, which is only fair) consumer culture, and how globalisation threatens the humanistic values for which Durcan has laboured so long to champion as one of the cultural harbingers of a newly secularised Ireland continues here.

He confronts the dying of his mother, the republican legacy as inherited from her and the MacBrides and all the illustrious forebears vs. its hijacking by Gerry Adams and his cabal, and the resultant cynicism permeating the "peace process" boldly and eloquently. This makes for by far the best entry of his collection here. John Moriarty, a philosopher Durcan ranks among the most eloquent of the past century, is reviewed via JM's Nostos, and Durcan's enthusiasm makes me want to reconsider an author I've shied away from as too recondite--a fine example of how an informed response can cause one to look anew at an author one has avoided! Durcan intriguingly compares Moriarty not only to his student John O'Donaghue (of Anam Cara acclaim) but to the entrepreneur Tony O'Reilly as two of the best students at UCD at the time! For any reader cognisant of Irish current affairs, this juxtaposition is bracing. Pieces on travellers, Sean MacBride, an hair-raising airplane ride with Charlie Haughey, and his granddaughter Rosie Joyce work well enough, concentrating upon the local, the particular, and the personal. Many others are mediocre, like those on the new wing of the National Gallery facing Clare st in Dublin--name-dropping obscures what the art museum actually looks like and displays. For a parochial RTE audience, as it often is in a small country, this familiarity may be forgiven, but on the page it smacks of nepotism and fawning to his social class' designated "superiors," alas. Durcan repeatedly speaks here of living in a storage facility-cum-cave in Ringsend near the Liffey industrial docks, and I wondered how this squared with the hob-nobbing, poetry readings abroad, and jet-set itineraries his entries elsewhere document.

Compared to the like of entries like "Osama Bin Bush, "Camp X-Ray" (on Guatanamo Bay) and the invasion of Iraq, well, you don't have to disagree with Durcan to find this level of discourse rather puerile, self-satisfied, and predictably smug. Durcan does take on Dublin's Cardinal Connell with a sense of heartfelt pain at how the Church has turned in upon itself away from a changing Ireland--and one that I hold that Durcan's influence in no small way managed to shift away from the priest-ridden stereotype--and his honesty here at how one Catholic manages to practice at one level a faith he clings to even as its shrouded carapace repulses him makes for clumsy if genuine reading. But Durcan's clumsy attacks on Bush and the American hegemony make you cringe for a better editor and an wish that Durcan would edit before he speaks on the radio the scripts here printed. He will win no new converts with such blather, and its superficiality diminishes what in other places that I've highlighted in this January 2001-April 2003 collection of 39 talks manages to rise above the mundane, the predictable, or the patronising voice.

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