Sunday 17 December 2017

John McGahern -- amongst writers

Admirers of the late John McGahern (left) are queuing up to defend the revered author and former teacher against accusations by former pupils who remember him as a volatile bully who frequently expressed himself with his fists.

McGahern's stoutest defenders are fellow writers, aghast at suggestions that the gentle soul they knew could ever have lashed out in anger. For people who pose as imaginative artists, their position betrays a startling lack of imagination.

Every one of us is many things at any given moment and several hundred things over a lifetime. Some gentle souls will punch your lights out if you confine them in an environment that affronts their gentility.

We should also acknowledge that the most subjective memories of all are childhood memories. Teachers remembered fondly by the kind of people who write books are often remembered in the nightmares of the kind of people who do not.

And vice versa.

Don't flatter yourself, Brian

Brian McFadden has been away too long -- and there's a sentence I thought I'd never write.

Though ready to leave his adopted home of Australia following his split with local pop star Delta Goodrem, the former Westlife warbler says he won't be returning to his native country because he's "the most hated man in Ireland".

McFadden (below) flatters himself. Hated men are now ten-a-penny in Ireland, and competition for primacy among them is fierce.

The days when he even had a shot at becoming Public Enemy Number One are long gone, like his prospects of scoring a number one of any kind.

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