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What we are reading and the CLR book club 13th June 2017 June 13, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

I’ve been reading a not half bad thriller – in ebook form which I found on Borrowbox from Dublin City Library – by John Gardner who wound up later writing Bond thrillers under licence. Set in London in the 1970s (and written about then I think) it features a naturalised British agent who was born in Germany in the 30s. It flips back to occupied Paris. Gardner was remarkably right wing – he wrote an entertaining (albeit annoying) thriller about a Soviet take over of Britain entitled Golgotha in 1980. It was very silly. This is, almost needless to say, far better.

Meanwhile, on a more politically correct note, what comrades of Swan’s work on the Officials. How are we getting on?


1. Joe - June 13, 2017

I finished Echoland by Joe Joyce, detective story set in Emergency Dublin – Dublin, Dev and FF, the IRA, the Brits and the Germans and neutrality and all that. But overall it was meh.

Now reading The Nabob – a tale of Ninety Eight by Andrew James. A collection of tales, half fiction half folklore, written by an Ulster academic in the late nineteenth century. Half the stories are written in Ulster Scots, which someone on here once claimed was a recent unionist invention to queer the pitch for the Irish language campaign in the North, or something like that.

Anyway, Ulster Scots folk memory of Presbyterians, Papists and Ridshanks and so on in ’98. What’s not to like?


RosencrantzisDead - June 13, 2017

Half the stories are written in Ulster Scots, which someone on here once claimed was a recent unionist invention to queer the pitch for the Irish language campaign in the North, or something like that.

The variant of Ulster Scots promoted nowadays is quite different to the original dialect of yore. There was a push to have Ulster Scots seen as a separate language, rather than just a dialect, so it could compete with Irish. This lead to a directed mutation where Ulster Scots deliberately used outdated words or adapted words from german, norse or latin rather than use an English word. The person who said this was not entirely wrong, but it is true that Ulster Scots as a dialect has existed for centuries.


Starkadder - June 13, 2017

“it is true that Ulster Scots as a dialect has existed for centuries.”

On the subject of languages on this island, I believe
Shelta /Gammon is classified as a full-blown language by
language researchers such as Anthony P. Grant. Shelta does have a large number of Irish-language loanwords in it. Now whether it has any links with Ulster Scots might be a fruitful avenue for an academic…

I’m currently reading “The Race” by Nina Allan, set in a dystopian future of gentically engineered animals. Pretty good so far.


2. roddy - June 13, 2017

Joe, I never learned Ulster Scots but if there was a degree to be had in it,I would pass it with flying colours.It is basically English with a Ballymena accent and I would have to drive about 5 miles over the river Bann to hear it spoken.It is not or never was a language.


Joe - June 13, 2017

Fair enough. It sounds and reads great though.
But what’s a language? I’d be disappointed if people on here were looking down on regional dialects in favour of the standard English. That would be cultural imperialism or something like that, wouldn’t it?


3. yourcousin - June 13, 2017

I’ve already reread the entire book again. Definitely recommend keeping a copy of ‘From Civil Rights to Armalites” handy. Probably wouldn’t hurt to re peruse Robert White’s work on Ruairí Ó Brádaigh as I think that work had some interesting stuff in it visa vie the east/west divide amongst Southern Irish society (although I could be mistaken).

Take aways from the introduction.

The CPNI really were only able to muster working class Protestant support when they were sufficiently anti-Republican.

The concept of “rebranding” separatism.

The non homogenous nature within both branches of the Republican family.

One of the things I loved most about this book reading it back in ’09 was Swan’s ability to callout and highlight contradictions and asking us to observe them as well, even if we do not have ready answers for them.


WorldbyStorm - June 13, 2017

Yes, and there were many many contradictions. Another thing he pointed to was the virtual impossibility of the Official project later in terms of building a support base outside Republicanism/Nationalism. It just couldn’t function, and perhaps can’t either (and this applies to all others in a similar position) given the confines.


4. roddy - June 13, 2017

As I said Joe ,I understand every word of it but I don’t look down on it or those who speak it.However it is being used by far right unionists like Nelson McCausland in a false equivication with Irish in an attempt to divert funding from the Irish LANGUAGE.


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