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The art of memory

history and of memory insofar as it relates to the institution of the institution. In ‘The art of memoires’ , the second in a series of three lectures given in memory of Paul de Man, Derrida draws attention to de Man’s strong reading of Hegel’s Aesthetics . Here are found difficult and discontinuous elements that, as de Man puts it, ‘cannot be

in Rethinking the university

memoir of the war with a foreword in which she described how, in the mid-1930s, she had rediscovered her diary: a ‘record of the year 1918’, wrapped in a small French tricolour. At this point, Europe seemed to be moving inexorably towards another war, and her fear that warfare would threaten the future of her five-year-old son prompted her to write a book, somewhat eccentrically entitled I Saw Them Die.5 True to its title, the book contains numerous references to horrifying deaths in French military hospitals. Millard writes of the power of a long-forgotten diary to

in Nurse Writers of the Great War
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McGahern’s personal and detached reflections

between fictional and autobiographical writing, explaining that experiences may be the source of an idea, but in fictional writing they are re-invented or re-imagined. In this sense, he believed that autobiographical writing fails unless it is strictly autobiographical.2 As with any other artist, it would be wrong to look at his work as providing some objective, reliable and valid description of Irish culture. There are no reliable data. There is no cohesive theory or explanation of the transformations that took place. He is a storyteller, and even Memoir is a story

in John McGahern
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Plain tales and hill stations

the take-away selling hallal pizza, and at the greengrocer’s on the corner she would buy a box of those perfect yellow fruit sold here as ‘Pakistani mangoes’. She would eat them and let the juice run down her chin. 147 Displacements Afterword The autobiography or memoir has a long history as a genre, going back at least to St Augustine’s ‘Confessions’, and in recent years has flourished, spawning a variety of sub-genres: the celebrity biog, the misery memoir, and so on. As we all live longer – at least in the rich countries of the global North – more and more of

in Writing otherwise
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Unconventionality and queerness in Katherine Everett’s life writing

3 Bricks and Flowers: unconventionality and queerness in Katherine Everett’s life writing Mo Moulton Katherine Everett’s 1949 memoir, Bricks and Flowers, narrates a remarkable life. Born into the Anglo-­Irish gentry in the 1870s, Everett (1872–1953) escaped an abusive mother by moving to Britain as a teenager. Her memoir describes an art-­school education, life as a single mother and a career as a building contractor, to name only a few of the highlights. The question of Everett’s sexuality is never directly addressed, though for the modern reader it hovers in

in British queer history
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Writing sex and nation

the retreating nights of renewal and the chores of the days on which her strength was spent again, one always unfinished and two more eternally waiting, yet so colourless and small that only on a reel of film projected slowly could they be separated and named; and as no one noticed them they were never praised.2 Like the author’s own mother as she is lovingly recalled in his Memoir (2005), these women have deep spiritual resources but they are ultimately destroyed. Rather than being victims, like Fionnuala, who share that condition with Ireland, such women are

in Five Irish women

16 An interview with John McGahern Stanley van der Ziel I met John McGahern for a formal interview in the Gresham Hotel on O’Connell Street, Dublin, on 12 October 2004. What follows is an edited transcript of that conversation. The interview pre-dates the publication of Memoir (2005) and Creatures of the Earth (2006), as well as the instigation of a collected edition of his occasional non-fictional prose (eventually published as Love of the World: Essays in 2009). For this reason, the transcript refers throughout to ‘the memoir’ instead of Memoir

in John McGahern
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An emotional episode in public life

ephemeral. While she often appeared to affect an extreme humility or naivety, she created a persona and voice that rapidly became associated with a unique blend of confessional self-revelation and cultural authority. When she was invited by a publisher to put together a volume of her newspaper columns, O’Faolain readily agreed. As she comments, ‘a book, at least, goes places’; it would be in the catalogue of the National Library in Dublin.3 She was asked to write an introduction, but produced instead the 200-page memoir Are you somebody?, which went on to became a

in Five Irish women
Absolute monarchy

France with stability. The erosion of the nobility’s influence on government led to civil war – the Fronde (1648–53) – when members of the high nobility attempted to resist this encroachment on their power and privileges by the monarchy.Their subsequent defeat enabled the crown to advance a programme of reform that exploited the king’s emergency powers, nullifying the nobility as a threat to produce order. When embarking upon his personal rule in 1661 Louis began to write his Mémoires, which offered a manifesto of his views on government. This fascinating insight into

in Ideas of monarchical reform
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1 Introduction Željka Doljanin and Máire Doyle When John McGahern died in 2006 he did not bequeath a particularly large body of work. Written across five decades, his published work comprised six novels, three collections of stories, a memoir, two volumes of collected stories and one play – an adaptation of Tolstoy’s The Power of Darkness. He also scripted a number of radio and television adaptations. Reviews, essays and other prose pieces were brought together in an edited collection after his death.1 McGahern’s relatively small literary output may be accounted

in John McGahern