The Turks are at the Gate

How much in common must a community have? Quite a lot, says Carl Henrik Fredriksson. At the very least a common public sphere. Because without it, Europe's publics will be easy prey for those who know how to play the strings of history.
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A Gift of Cabbage, A Stolen Cauliflower

In November 1938, on the pretext of revenge for the assassination in Paris of German diplomat Ernst vom Rath by Herschel Grynszpan, the Nazis launched the attack on Jewish life and property known as Kristallnacht. Some subsequent exiles ended up in Ireland.
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As a dog pisses, so a bird sings

Young cock robin, extensive territory, HWP, D/D free, red breast, seeks hen. When a bird sings, it sings itself, and principally what species it is. A robin after all can do very little of any interest or to any purpose with a wren.
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Death in Zurich

After the fall of France in 1940, Joyce became increasingly uncomfortable. In December he went back to his former home of Zurich, but died there suddenly in January of the following year.
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Harsent wins TS Eliot Prize

Britain's most valuable poetry prize, funded by the estate of TS Eliot, has gone to David Harsent for his collection Fire Songs.
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Tributes to Kent Haruf

The American novelist Kent Haruf, whose novels were set in small town Colorado, died late last year. 'I don't feel like death is right round the corner. But if it is, it's a bigger corner than I thought it was.'”
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Iconic Words to Curate Less Often

It being January and a new year and all that, perhaps there are some locutions that we should think of putting on the back burner going forward.
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Lawrence of Judea

John Henry Patterson, born in Ballymahon, Co Longford, was a soldier, then a big-cat hunter in Africa and eventually a sponsor of Zionism and the creation of an Israeli fighting force. He died in California in 1947 and was reinterred in Israel last month.
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Mnemosyne Lay in Dust

A reading will take place at St Patrick's Hospital in Dublin of the poem Austin Clarke wrote around the breakdown he suffered in 1919/20, when he spent some time in the hospital as a patient.
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Mystery and Marian

Blazes Boylan's secretary, Miss Dunne, didn't like too much ould nonsense in her love stories. Did Walter Hartright love Marian Halcombe or didn't he? Probably not, but did Blazes Boylan love Marian Tweedy (Molly Bloom)?
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Guinness Has Been Good - For You

When told that the Guinnesses had been good for Dubliners Brendan Behan responded that Dubliners had been good for the Guinnesses.. A good quip, but not entirely fair, as the historical record indicates.
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The Silent Intellectuals

John Carey thought that Oxford academics were a privileged bunch who had a nerve telling other people what to think. Irish professors are not so rarefied a breed. Perhaps more of them should occasionally peek out and contribute to public debate.
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Heading towards Nation

The names of the metro stops in Paris have a certain poetry, Richard Cobb thought, while its reassuring efficiency conveys a sense of security, a sense that one will certainly, at the end of the night, get home to bed.
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Bob Purdie: 1940-2014

A tribute to the life and work of Bob Purdie, left-wing writer, activist and analyst, a Scottish trade unionist who identified with militant Irish republicanism, then changed his mind, and ended up campaigning for Scottish independence.
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Owning Up

Made a mistake? A really bad one? The best thing to do is to own up. In full..
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Crustaceans on D'Olier Street

One of Dublin's main North-South thoroughfares once boasted a fine dining venue which attracted poets and writers, when they had a few bob.
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Expelled from the Word Hoard

Is it good news or bad news when 'selfie' is added to the dictionary? And what if 'sepia' is chucked out to make room for it?
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A Dublin Commemoration

Thomas Moore has fallen out of favour. Even his statue seems to have disappeared. His flame still burned brightly however on the occasion of his centenary in 1879, when a concert in his honour almost led to a riot.
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Frances Burney, Facebook Friends: 0

Having no intimates, and no one to whom she could confide her feelings, Frances Burney addressed them confidently to Nobody.
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Bascombe Is Back

Richard Ford's Frank Bascombe is back in a new novel, Let Me Be Frank with You. The only thing John Banville doesn't like is the title.
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