Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Give Up Yer Aul Sins! Verbal Spew’s St. Patrick’s Day post for The Begorrathon. Be sure to enter her contest to win an Irish Care Package

The Verbal Spew Review

I had originally planned on sharing with you all an extensive Spew Guide to St. Paddy’s Day, but as I told Niall the other day, proceedings came to an abrupt halt following the “Knacker-Drinking on the Canal” segment. I had genuinely intended on completing it, but, well, I got kind of distracted.

So instead I will gift to you a charmingly precious recount of the Story of St. Patrick, as told by a schoolchild and recorded in a classroom in Dublin during the 1960s. These recordings were collected, remastered and animated by the Oscar-nominated Brown Bag Films, and would later become known as “Give Up Yer Aul Sins”. They would also prove that nobody tells a story quite like a Dub does.

Don’t forget that The Begorrathon, as part of Ireland Month, will be ongoing throughout March, and that The Great Irish Care Package will be up for…

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The Irresistible Rise of Irish Crime Fiction – A Begorrathon 2015 Post from 746 Books


? When asked why he chose to set his first crime novel in the US, Irish writer John Connolly said, ‘Because in Ireland everybody would’ve known who done it within days.’ Exaggeration aside, in the pre-Celtic Tiger landscape of Ireland, this may well have been the case, but it certainly isn’t nowadays as Irish crime…

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April A to Z: O is for Ordinary #atozchallenge


By Niall McArdle

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We live in a culture that celebrates the extraordinary – a world of superlatives: fastest man, best actor, richest people, sexiest women (the culture of superlatives is also rather sexist: it’s easy to find polls of female beauty, more difficult to find celebrations of women’s intellect or achievements).

But what of the ordinary? The mundane? The quotidian grind of trivialities and simplicity?

For today’s A to Z Challenge, O is for Ordinary

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James Joyce wrote Ulysses to celebrate the ordinary, everyday pleasures that can be had walking, eating, drinking, and thinking. Leopold Bloom has much in the way of ordinary wisdom. Some think the novel is too abstract, too high-brow, too hard, but in fact Joyce wrote it for the ordinary reader (he used to give copies of it to waiters, feeling sure that they more than anyone else would understand it).

Declan Kiberd has written the most marvellous guide to the ordinary wisdom of this extraordinary book. Ulysses and Us is one of the best pieces of crticism on Joyce; it makes the book more than accessible.

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Like Ulysses, there is much ordinary wisdom to be had in Seven Pleasures: Essays on Ordinary Happiness by Willard Spiegelman.

Extraordinary A to Z bloggers here, here and here.

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April A to Z: H is for Heaney


By Niall McArdle It’s been 7 months since the sudden death of Seamus Heaney, and for those who care about poetry the tragic loss is still fresh,. By the way, April in the United States is National Poetry Month. His life and work will be celebrated on April 23rd at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. […]

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