“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What’s Lost Is Lost And Gone Forever

For the uninitiated, ‘Slash City’* was the apolitical nickname bestowed on the city of Derry, aka Londonderry, during ‘the Troubles’, the Derry or Londonderry usuage depending very much on which side of the Foyle you were lobbing your petrol bombs from. The city’s defining event during the 30-year conflict was Bloody Sunday, and a new book from the Cork University Press investigates the cultural consequences of what happened after 13 civilians were murdered by the British army in the Bogside. Quoth the CUP blurb elves:
The Bloody Sunday Inquiry was set up by Tony Blair in January 1998. It was the second inquiry into the events in Derry on Jan 30, 1972, when 13 people were killed and 14 injured after troops opened fire on civilians. AFTER BLOODY SUNDAY examines the portrayals of the day and its devastating repercussions in photography, film, theatre, poetry, television documentary, art installations, murals, commemorative events and legal discourse.
  Drawing on their expertise in the fields of literature, cultural theory, media studies and visual art, the authors have produced a thoroughly interdisciplinary approach towards the many representations that claim, with varying degrees of confidence, to tell the story of ‘what really happened’ on the streets of the Bogside on the afternoon of 30th January 1972.
  In the course of six thematically-organized chapters, the authors analyze productions ranging from high-profile ‘popular’ forms of entertainment – such as Paul Greengrass’s feature film Bloody Sunday and Jimmy McGovern’s made-for-television film, Sunday – through to lesser-known treatments in poetry (Thomas Kinsella’s Butcher’s Dozen), drama (Frank McGuinness’s Carthaginians and Brian Friel’s The Freedom of the City), and visual art (The Bogside Artists and Willie Doherty). They place special emphasis on the commemoration events held each year in Derry in which the families of the victims have – over many years – remembered their dead and injured, while at the same time building a highly-effective campaign that resulted, finally, in the new Inquiry.
  Tom Herron is Lecturer in English in the School of Cultural Studies at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK. He has published work on contemporary Irish poetry, drama and fiction. John Lynch is Lecturer in Media & Visual Culture in the Department of Sociology at the University of Birmingham, UK. He has published work on photography, art history and visual culture.
* Not to be mistaken for ‘Stab City’, aka Limerick

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