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Friday, 30 August 2013

Extended review of 'The House of Gold' in which I name many names


My extended review of Liam O’Flaherty’s just re-published banned novel The House of Gold is in issue 53 of Red Banner magazine. In the review I name lots of names. 

Here's a quote from it: 

An interesting footnote to the suppression of this and the many other books banned in those decades is that the justice minister of the day—my not even slightly liberal near-namesake Kevin O’Higgins—was initially opposed to the banning of books. But concerned citizens campaigned to put that right. In 1926 the snappily named Committee on Evil Literature was set up and reported on the issue for the Department of Justice. After, that is, spending ten months getting all hot and sweaty reading every ‘filthy book’ they could lay their moist palms upon. Today such a committee would probably include such luminaries as William Binchy, Labhrás Ó  Murchú, Breda O’Brien, the ever greasy Senator Rónán Mullen, and the tragic monument to bullshit that is John Waters. The result was the Censorship of Publications Board, set up in the generally happy-clappy year of 1929.”