Thursday, 8 November 2018

Dublin and the World


I'm going to Ireland, to Dublin, to take part in a brunchtime debate about drink and othersuch fun on Sunday 18th of November. It's part of the Temple Bar Festival of Politics. I find this terribly exciting as I have never been to Ireland before and thus imagine it to be a land of rain and mystery, when in fact it's probably only one of the two.

For the record, my favourite Irish-derived word in the English language is slogan. I wrote about it before in 2010, but shall reprint it here.

Once upon a time a slogan was a battle-cry. When ancient Gaelic warriors raised their kilts and ran into battle they would shout the name of their tribe or their capital before rushing like wolves to the slaughter. If you imagine the modern football hooligan screaming the name of his club, you probably have some idea.

Their army-shouts or sluagh-gairms did not have the desired effect and the English language spread by spear-point and sword into all but the boggiest parts of these rainy islands. Sluagh-gairm was anglicised to slogan and taken up by politicians and plutocrats, cabinet ministers and corporations. Yet, I still like to think of the advertising executives and PR girls girding up their kilts, shrieking their slogans, and running to their brave and selfless deaths.

Meanwhile, A Short History of Drunkenness has been sold (the translation rights that is) to about fifteen countries. It is now translated and available in bookshops in:

Brazil
Estonia
Italy
Poland - with a postscript by Roberta Makłowicz
Romania
Russia

And I think:

Thailand

Which is to say that this tweet must say something, I just don't know what.



Editions are forthcoming in everything from Korean to Spanish via German and Chinese.

I find it all terribly confusing. But I do know what a free brunch is, and that's what you get for your ticket to the Dublin event at Gallagher's Boxty House on Sunday 18th.

Also, if you have any dear friends in one of the above-mentioned countries, I would much appreciate your spreading the good word.