The Saturday Irish Times arrives in New York on Sunday morning. At one time The Irish Times was one of the greatest newspapers in the world and home to Flann O'Brien. Now it is the most appalling and complete celebration of every loony idea of political correctness imaginable. In the world of The Irish Times there are only victims and those confessing their previous status as exploiters awaiting their moment of being reborn as victims. The jellyfish has become a victim of the tides and its own tentacles...
In the most recent issue "Nobel Laureate" Seamus Heaney---long ago having forsaken poetry in favour of... can anyone suggest what he does now?--- though emblematic as a leading world class victim since he won one of the very big lotteries is writing to celebrate the universal declaration of human rights and will in future weeks be joined by Roddy Doyle, Maeve Binchy, Neil Jordan, Joseph O'Connor and Anne Enright who in the immortal words of The Irish Times have, "donated their time and creativity to a series created by the Amnesty International Irish Section..."
If you have long suspected that these writers were much less than they appeared to be this is a final seal of approval that you never ever have to give a thought to anything they might write in the future or for that matter in the past.
The only antidote for the experience of reading Seamus Heaney was going to Russ and Daughters Appetizing whose slogan is Lox et Veritas and which is more or less across the street from where I am typing this and getting for Anna a Heeb sandwich on an everything bagel. She had decided that she would forgo the Super Heeb in anticipation of having it next Sunday, Easter Sunday as it will turn out to be, and I know that the walking over then would be as efficient a remedy as it was this Sunday...
I had a lingering mental reservation about the above because I saw that Gabriel Josipovici was writing about Julian Barnes and as we all know Josipovici is one of the most loyal of readers of Robert Pinget's work but even Josipovici has given into The Irish Times and can write a sentence, "The English have always been repressed and ironical but there was never that sense of prep school boys showing off..."
Of course--- ho ho ho--- we all know English are repressed: Shakespeare, Marlowe, Blake, James Thomson BV, B.S. Johnson...and while Josipovici is annoyed with Barnes and announced as a result that the English have always been repressed, he will list the death of Cordelia as one of the greatest literary encounters with death forgetting of course that the scene was written by that repressed Englishman...
In one of my other lives, hang on, I've only ever had one, I mean my other exposes, I said I was king of my own filth. Which came to the same thing, reading between the lines. In short, I observe that I'm not out of it. Can one be responsible for an observation? Of course, alas. At least in the current acceptance. I say that one is not responsible for anything. But whatever you do, don't ask me to prove it. I don't want to spend my life with my back to the wall. Because people who are, with their backs to the wall, they're there to be shot. Get away, with your foul rifles. Get way. There are meadows to gambol in, and I have just as much right to them as anyone else I want my place in the sun. For the moment it's in this garden. Very funny."
---SOMEONE by Robert Pinget. Trans. Barbara Wright.