Milan Kundera defined a European as someone who is nostalgic for Europe. But one need not share this pessimism to derive nourishment from European intellectual and cultural traditions. On the idea of Europe in the work of five Central European writers of the twentieth century.
Before his retirement, editor for The Irish Times, chiefly on international news. Joint founder and co-editor of the Dublin Review of Books. Writing for Eurozine in a personal capacity.
Irish Europeanism after Brexit
The recent souring in Irish attitudes to England stems from dislike of the politics of Brexit, not a reawakening of national hostility. Ireland has been forced to choose, and has chosen Europe. A new sense of its importance in the Union may even ease regrets at losing a major neoliberal ally.
Sinn Féin’s breakthrough in Ireland’s general election in February ended the century-long dominance of the ‘Civil War parties’ in the Republic. On the left, the victory was celebrated as providing a ‘mandate for change’. But Sinn Féin’s image problem remains an obstacle. Unjustly so?
Ireland, Poland and the Western Balkans after the EP election
The European elections have been key to determining citizens’ priorities, albeit with one significant caveat in Ireland. In Poland, voters clearly care more about social welfare than abstract issues like rule of law. And issues of real consequence for the Western Balkans may finally be addressed, now that the elections are over.
Poland, Cyprus and Ireland before the EP election
In the run up to the European Parliamentary elections in May, editors from the Eurozine network will be reporting on national debates from across the EU. First up in the series are views from Kraków, Nicosia and Dublin.
The tales of Austrian greatness and ethnic purity conflict with current-day Vienna’s diversity. Enda O’Doherty confronts touristic narratives with the controversies of Austrian history.
Whatever happened to the lively and apparently healthy democratic process in Central Europe, during the decade that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall? Answers are more likely to be found in economic circumstances, argues Enda O’Doherty, than supposedly innate tendencies to reaction.
On the political writings of George Orwell
George Orwell is often credited with elevating political writing to an art. However, writes Enda O’Doherty, it might be useful to separate out the terms “political” and “writing”. For while his writing is undoubtedly of the highest order, the quality of his political judgment remains questionable.
Go out to your local bookshop, advises Enda O’Doherty, and get in close with those Books You Haven’t Read, the Books To Read Next Summer and The Books To Fill Out Those Small Gaps That Are Still There On Your Shelves. Don’t come away empty-handed. They may not be there forever.
The deep historical roots of European culture may not lie in the geographical and political entity of today’s Europe. But it is precisely here that the feeling of belonging inspired by the best that has been thought and said (and sung and painted and danced) needs cultivating, argues Enda O’Doherty.
With German-bashing now firmly established as a European Volkssport, Dublin Review of Books editor Enda O’Doherty turns to the semi-barbarous German language; only to find that in the right hands, or expressed through the right vocal cords, German is indeed a very beautiful language.
The Leveson Enquiry into the UK hacking scandal is drawing to a close, yet the future of a new press regulatory body remains controversial. Enda O’Doherty asks what the enquiry’s findings mean for a definition of journalistic standards and the proper relation between politics and media.