Eugene McEldowney is the finest crime
fiction writer from this island of Ireland, but he doesn't even know this. Ask him the novel
that he most enjoyed writing, he picks The Faloorie Man, his fifth novel: a mainstream
fiction about a catholic boy who stumbles on a hidden truth. It is understandable why
McEldowney rates The Faloorie Man above his crime novels: It is the most autobiographical
of all his novels, and the most successful; being the most widely published. But it is
instructive that when history chooses to borrow from art it finds fulfilment, not in his
mainstream novel, but his crime fiction. The Big
Conversation is McEldowney's most revealing interview in nearly a decade.
It's a must read!
* * *
Here in the Dublin Quarterly we appreciate the "what"
of a short story, but we are much more inclined towards the "how." Our mission remains to
challenge gifted writers to break the shackles of the "traditional" mode of telling and seek for
the higher ground of technical innovativeness. It is therefore of little surprise that the six (6) short
stories in this edition actually provoke editorial sensibilities:
Between Breath and a Word by Bill Collopy for
its creative grandeur. Niall vacillates between Maureen Gallagher's
The Cynics Club and
Hazera Forth's Syrians on the top floor
. Their innovative technical resources have enchanted him. Samantha insists that the
beauty of Roger Duncan's P.V.S
is its seamless blend of identity with artistic fervour.
And my pick? Reading
When We Don't Talk About Love by Alex Keegan
is the feel of sexual climax: I'm fascinated by the sensuous qualities of poetic language. But
it is Dorothee Lang's Transit Zones that wins
me over with its Beckettian imprimatur. It is a story that nothing happens, yet with the same
nihilist swipe it's steeped in action. No doubt these six finely crafted short fiction would
provoke the artistic sensibilities of a sensitive reader.
* * *
Our Poetry section has nine
poems with different hue and temperament. It opens with the poetry of
Eyitemi Egwuenu, a poet and a medical doctor from Nigeria. There are also the
poems of Arlene Ang. Arlene writes from Italy. Some of
her poems have been nominated for the 2006 Pushcart Prize anthology. This may be
Pat McMahon first published work, but his poems are so good... Why not get
on with it? No matter your taste and preference this section would surely make your day.
* * *
Our special feature, Forget
Heidegger: On the Architecture of Love in Los Angeles likens the art of love and
loving to the architectural design of a house: its foundation should be solid; its four-corner
walls must be in fine proportion; and its roof, windows and doors in their proper positions.
Well, Eli S. Evans' approach is not that simplistic. He invigorates this beautiful,
incisive and highly intellectual essay with a Heideggerian philosophy. My advice: put on your
thinking cap before you take this on!
* * *
Our Book Reviews
page, with all modesty, is the most authoritative. This opens with
The Plot Against America by Philip Roth, the
Pulitzer Prize winner for American Pastoral and a recipient of the 2002 Gold
Medal in Fiction. This year Roth will "become the third living American writer to have his
work published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by the Library of America." The second
book reviewed is a poetry collection entitled Rue Du Regard
by Todd Swift, an important voice in world poetry. Swift is a Canadian
living in London. The third book is Barleycorn Blues
, a novel by Lee Dunne, IRELAND’S MOST BANNED AUTHOR for over three decades. Dunne
has written over fifty books, films, stage, radio and television plays. And seven, yes seven, of
these books and a Hollywood screenplay are under the Irish censorship hammer. We close this book
review page with Boy by Lindsey Collen
, a South African living in Mauritius. Collen won the 1994 Commonwealth Writer's
Prize for The Rape Of Sita. Boy has already made the shortlist and is in the
running for the 2005 Commonwealth Writer's Prize.
* * *
Which is the Irish Novel of the Year Award 2004? In
the next edition of the Dublin Quarterly we shall present to you our honest, audacious,
impersonal and aesthetic critique of the Hughes & Hughes' shortlists: Tatty by Christine
Dwyer Hickey; The Master by Colm Tóibín; Havoc In It's Third Year by Ronan
Bennett; and Swallowing The Sun by David Park. It'd be our Book Reviews Special.
You must not miss it!