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“In his 1919 paper on the uncanny, Freud reckoned ‘the frightening element is something that has been repressed and now returns’. As a nation whose traumatic past is still coming to light – through victims’ previously untold stories or even the discovery of their unburied bones – it is safe to say Ireland remains a haunted place.
The landscape isn’t short on haunted vibes, either – between the ravaged fields and the dilapidated houses; the bogs bloated fat with the mulch of history. There is also our unique relationship with the supernatural – not just the churchy stuff, but all the myth and superstition. We can be fierce believers in the sinister.”
“The question of what will change applies to everything from the mundanity of everyday to the very shape of history. Will we ever elect a careless an incompetent leader again, knowing what is at stake? Will we continue to systematically disadvantage the most vulnerable among us, and to degrade facts and science and statistics? And as for the positive changes being made or discussed—bipartisanship, direct governmental aid, paid sick leave—what will stick, and what will be forgotten?”
“The best-selling author of such fizzy classics as High Fidelity and About a Boy will publish his next novel, Just Like You, in the fall. It’s but the latest unlikely romance from Hornby, this time between a nearly divorced 41-year-old schoolteacher with two school-aged sons and a 22-year-old part-time butcher still living at home. But with most of the world practicing social distancing, it’s carrying a little extra meaning for him.”