The Irish Review

The Irish Review published by Cork University Press

Enda Longley, IR 2

IR2 coverEdna Longley, reviewing a plethora of Irish magazines and journals in issue 2, began her article with this anti-manifesto for The Irish Review:

The first issue of The Irish Review caused massive psychic disturbance by carrying no editorial, manifesto, slogan, or thrilling call to the barricades. Tadgh Foley detected the subtext ‘Viva Revisionism!’, but this hardly stirs the blood as it staggers to the surface. In fact Dr Foley might have dug more deeply into the sub-genre of the sub-editorial. There were infinite hidden agendas in IR no. 1, and I would advise him not to be fooled by the apparently simple request for contributions which now prefaces the Contents page. It masks an elaborate conspiracy whereby the journal is editorial, the editorial is the journal. Dissatisfied customers are of course rebuking a breach of Irish convention, rather than truly impatient for a summons to action. But I would remind them that the country is still trying to bury ‘Racy of the soil’; that James Simmons rues the day he subtitled The Honest Ulsterman ‘A Handbook for Revolution’; and that even now members of the Fifth Province Memorial Association are planning a century of annual marches in Derry. Speaking for myself alone, I like an aphorism by Camus which even subverts the possibility of its own adoption as a slogan: ‘If I lead you shall not follow, if you follow I shall not lead.’

Edna Longley, ‘Regional Variations’, The Irish Review, 2 (1987), 149-152 [149]


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