Juliana Adelman Last month I posted on my autumn resolutions which included reading more fiction. So far I’ve enjoyed The third party (Glenn Patterson) and Jamrach’s Menagerie (Carol Birch). I’m only halfway into J. G. Farrell’s Troubles set in Ireland after WWI, but it is my favourite so far. It is faintly reminiscent of The Irish R.M. series but Farrell’s portrayal of the atmosphere of inter-war (and then civil-war) Ireland and Britain is at least as convincing as some of his characters and a pleasure to read. The British Society for the History of Science has started a great blog devoted to reviews of history science museums and sites and open for contributions. So far this island is only represented by the Ulster Hall, but it’s a good idea. Finally, in my continued interest in combining maps with other kinds of information I came across two interesting web sites that are linking stories to places: Storymap (by two Irish film makers) and Lifescapes: mapping Dublin lives (a collaborative project in Trinity College Dublin).
Lisa Marie Griffith For the last month I have been watching ‘The Story of Film: An Odyssey’ on Channel 4. This is a documentary about the history of film, but it is far from traditional. The documentary refuses to look at the best-selling and most popular films and is consciously inclusive and international in its outlook with a strong focus on both the small and large innovations (like light, editing, shading, actors, sets) which helped drive forward the art of film. What I really like about this series is that it highlights a radical step or scene taken by a film and then points out other film makers who have copied this idea (often very closely), so that iconic scenes in modern films are often shown to be subtle sign posts of where that film maker’s inspiration originated from. The 1930s aired on Saturday and the 1940s are due for this Saturday but if you’d like to catch up you can watch it on 4oD. Film 4 are also airing some of the films featured in the documentary. I am a huge Hilary Mantel fan and caught an interview of Mantal a couple of weeks back. She is currently writing a follow up to Wolf Hall but due to illness it has been delyaed. To keep myself occupied in the meantime I have picked up Beyond Black, which the interviewer claimed was a blend of Mantel’s contemporary books and historic fiction. I visited the Dublin Contemporary exhibition at Culture Night. While tickets are expensive (€10 although I got in for free), it is well worth a visit but ends 31 October.
Christina Morin As I mentioned last week, I was down in Cork for the Digital Cultures Workshop – a fascinating day and a half of lectures, slams, and discussion about the current and future state of Digital Humanities in Ireland, Europe, and further afield. I’ll be sharing some of the highlights soon, but suffice it to say now that I was incredibly inspired, encouraged, and excited by the whole event and can’t wait to follow through on some of the ideas that started brewing in my brain! In the meantime, since this is October, I think it’s only appropriate to mention a couple of ‘scary’ events to prepare for Halloween. Something that’s certainly taken my fancy is the Horrorthon Film Festival at the IFI Halloween weekend. Earlier that week (26 October), there’s the launch of Charles Robert Maturin and the Haunting of Irish Romantic Fiction by yours truly from 6:30 at the Neill/Hoey Lecture Theatre in Trinity’s Long Room Hub. All Pue’s readers most welcome!
Kevin O’Sullivan In case you’ve missed it (how could you?), it’s the 100th anniversary of Flann O’Brien’s birth. So if you’ve never done so, or need an excuse to do so again, dig out some of his books and sit down in the shortening evenings with a pint of plain. As those who’ve shared an office with me in the past will know, I’m a big fan of puns, so the short collection edited from his Irish Times columns, The Various Lives of Keats, Chapman and the Brother, is among my favourites. But it’s all good. I also came across a couple of excellent apps in the last month. Evernote is great for taking notes, making to-do lists and the like, with the added handiness of adding photos and syncing between your computer and phone. And RDM+ is a free app that lets you control your computer from your phone or Blackberry – handy for Powerpoint, etc.