‘Edna O’Brien was the first Irish woman to have sex,’ says Anne Enright in her Guardian review of O’Brien’s 2011 novel, The Light of Evening. She goes on to say for Irish women of that time, 1960, sex was mostly about having children.
Continue reading The Little Red Chairs-Edna O’Brien
Jeffrey Masson’s father’s guru PB Brunton, known in the family as PB, unlike Sri Ramakrishna, was not given to ecstatic fits or animal possession. A small neat man with a pointed beard he inspired the devotion of Masson’s father Jacques and his uncle Bernard without performing any spectacular feats. Continue reading Gurus in the Family Part 2 My Father’s Guru by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
Some ten or fifteen years ago a previously little-known pianist named Joyce Hatto, a woman in her seventies who had not appeared in public for more than twenty years, came to the notice of music buffs thanks to a series of extraordinary recordings put out by her husband’s Concert Artists’ label.
Continue reading Frauds (freuds) 1 – Joyce Hatto and A. D. Harvey
Enrique Vila-Matas Never any end to Paris (New Directions, 2011)
There are few character failings worse, in Gert’s opinion, than humourlessness, and this Gertrude Stein had in spades, so Gert was quite pleased to read, in Enrique Vila-Matas’ Never any end to Paris:
…’a rose is a rose is a rose’, one of Miss Stein’s favourite phrases and irrefutable proof that even in the world’s literary hubs, people have always talked nonsense. (86)
Continue reading Don’t argue with me, Hemingway….
Recently we read an excellent long essay by Andrew O’Hagan in The London Review of Books (Vol 36 no. 5) about his attempt to work with Julian Assange on his autobiography. This brought to mind another ghost who in 2004 after being hidden for almost 20 years made a very public revelation of her ghosting in a book of the same name.
Continue reading Ghosts (1) – Jennie Erdal and Naim Attallah