The sentences in my head

László Krasnahorkai talks to George Szirtes about how he writes and what he reads.
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Why they went to war

Why did the soldiers join up and go to be slaughtered in France, Belgium or Gallipoli? Sometimes because the misery of their lives made them think that anything would be better.
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Paxman in Meath

The popular television presenter and historian will be lecturing next week at the Hay Festival Kells on the Great War, an event about which he has a very clear and simple idea.
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Forty days of sunshine

The Book of Kells will be joined by some other outstanding Irish manuscripts on display in Trinity College Dublin in 2016.
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A bookselling institution

The famous Foyle's bookshop in central London is moving to a spectacularly beautiful new premises just down the road from its traditional Charing Cross Road pitch.
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Something for everybody - one hopes

A hugely impressive list of guests has been put together for the Edinburgh international books festival, which runs in mid-August.
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Cruel, cruel Margaret Stackpoole

James Clarence Mangan, a lad from the Liberties, went courting a posh girl up in Ranelagh. At first things seemed to be going well ...
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If you gotta go ...

Former French prime minister Michel Rocard, in a resounding 'J'accuse!', tells the British that if they want to leave the EU they should just do that, and quickly too. Really, they've done quite enough damage inside.
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Sumer is icumen in - or not

A new book celebrates the seasons. But tell me again, how many of them are there?
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Adventures in Egypt

An episode from the early 1880s shows a young Augusta Gregory sympathising with an oppressed people and its revolutionary leaders - far from Ireland.
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Ireland's Huguenots

Ireland's Huguenot community - originally Calvinist refugees from persecution in France, produced many notable Irishmen, including Tom Lefroy, the man Jane Austen had hoped to marry, and the Gothic novelist Charles Maturin, author of Melmoth the Wanderer.
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Penguin relaunches Pelican

A hugely successful experiment in popular intellectual publishing, established in the 1930s and abandoned at the end of the Thatcherite 1980s, is being relaunched.
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Javier Cercas at Smock Alley

One of Spain's leading novelists, whose works explore memory and the attribution of good and evil to incidents of historical conflict, is visiting Dublin.
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The Peasant Poet

John Clare, the Northamptonshire peasant poet who died 150 years ago, is not getting the commemoration he deserves in Britain.
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Pater Improvidus

The life courses of two great Dublin writers of the nineteenth century, both born into the city's grocery trade, show the vastly differing outcomes that the quality of parental care may lay out for children.
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The Inspector Returns

Penguin books has embarked on a programme to republish all 75 of George Simenon's Maigret novels. Will the phlegmatic Parisian policeman captivate a new generation?
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Ten years since the big bang

In May 2004 ten new members, including eight from central and eastern Europe, joined the European Union. Have the effects of this major expansion on the union's capacity to define what it is been entirely positive?
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A Perfect Idyll

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, whose bicentenary occurs this year, spent much of his childhood in the idyllic setting of the Phoenix Park, where his father was rector of the military school.
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The Friar in Hell

Some people think you can say anything you like about priests. While others don't. In the fourteenth century, if Chaucer was anything to go by, there wasn't much you couldn't say.
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A massacre averted

Sometimes it can be advisable to ignore the orders of one's superiors if one wishes to avoid a pointless massacre.
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