Wednesday 16 October 2019

I agree with this, and yet I don't

Listening to Sinead Crowley on Morning Ireland about the need for more funding for writers in Ireland, I was in total agreement with every speaker she interviewed - writers Anne Enright and Paul Murray, publisher Michael McLoughlin, all of them spoke wisely about the plans they had presented to politicians in Leinster House, as members of a delegation from 'Words Ireland'.

They spoke of the contributions writers make to this country, and how the vast majority of writers are unable to make a living from writing alone. Indeed I have made my own calculation that there are more people driving around in cars they won in a Late Late Show competition than there are writers who make a half-decent wage solely from books.

So not only was I in total agreement with everything that these good people from 'Words Ireland' were saying, I was only sorry that they weren't given another 10 minutes of Morning Ireland to talk about life in general.

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Having said that, I should add that I was also in total disagreement with everything they were saying, with the very concept of writers receiving any form of encouragement from the denizens of Leinster House. Indeed the notion of State-approved art is so repugnant to me, I would consider joining a delegation to Leinster House to ask it be made illegal.

Now I realise that there is an apparent contradiction here - at the start you probably got the impression that I was totally in favour of this thing, and then you find out that I'm totally against it.

In fact I still am - in favour, that is.

And against.

One after the other, and at the same time.

It's a new thing, which involves keeping two completely different thoughts in your head, simultaneously.

Just putting it out there.

Sunday Independent

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