October 1, 2011 § Leave a comment
It seems that some of our fellow travellers in the Fourth Estate have noticed that Tuesday (or Wednesday, depending on whom you read) is the anniversary of The Master’s birth. Here are some of the notices that this scribbler has come across over the course of a rainy Saturday afternoon in “the local”.
The Great Man is bequeathed the better part of the Culture section of the Irish Times. Fintan O’Toole suggests that “At Swim-Two-Birds has a strong claim to be one of the founding texts of literary postmodernism […] ” which exhibits “[a]ll the markers of that baggy but indispensible cultural category […]”. (One wonders how mere moderns dispensed along in the years before its publication but all quibbling aside it is a worthy encomium, marred not at all by the failure of the author’s spelling checker to detect the substitution of the word “perfect” by “prefect”.)
In the same publication, Frank MacNally tackles the unenviable task of attempting to summarise Cruiskeen Lawn for the youth of today (i.e., everyone under 40) and reminds us that “[b]y his own accounts, Sir Myles na gCopaleen was several hundred years old, having been born in Montevideo in 1646”. MacNally draws some interesting parallels between Myles and Beachcomber (in the Daily Express) and the New Yorker’s cliche expert Mr Arbuthnot.
Over in the Grauniad, a sub-editor must have been very pleased with the by-line, Imagine: you’re better than James Joyce; you end up like Miles Kington. (Having had to consult Wikipedia for verification, this scribbler was surprised at the extent of the parallels between Myles and, err, Miles but suspects that one will wait in vain for Ian Sampson to commemorate the centenary of the latter’s birth.)
Finally in the Irish Independent, Kevin Myers’ Cruiskeen is decidedly half-empty, concentrating on what-might-have-been. Yawn.