Wednesday, July 22, 2020

London Review of Books - discussions on Ulster-Scots, 1995

This post might as well begin by quoting Star Wars - "a long time ago in a galaxy far far away".

A quarter of a century ago, before the Belfast Agreement thrust Ulster-Scots into the harsh and retina-melting limelight, (mixed metaphor alert) or as a bewildered lamb thrown before bloodthirsty gladiators on the sandy fighting arena that is the Northern Ireland political-ideological colosseum, conversations like this were taking place among gifted and intuitive writers, who were engaging meaningfully and respectfully with actual residents and communities.

Brilliant discussion here in the London Review of Books letters page, among Tom Paulin, Michael Longley, Peter McDonald, James Fenton and my good friend Philip Robinson - click here to view.

Heaney could have graciously eased into this conversation. Quality, calibre, empathy and understanding. Far from the madding crowd. A long time ago in a galaxy far far away.