Theatre, Writing

Shakespeare 400 years on: more myth than man?

Much mystery surrounds the legend that is Shakespeare. We don’t know much about his early life, how he began his career in the theatre, or even whether some of his most iconic creations are really his work at all.

The shadow of his status makes him more myth than man. But maybe that’s part of his appeal. That shroud of secrecy lends itself well to his legacy.

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Film

Quote of the Week: Peter Jackson

I just get excited about stories. I’ve always felt that I make movies for myself. I’m not somebody that has a great deal of interest in what the world wants to see. I have to get excited about a project myself and to the point that it becomes a film that I desperately want to see.

So therefore I start the process of trying to make it so I can see it. It sounds a bit simplistic, but that’s the heart of it. That’s the truth.

– Peter Jackson

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore.

Original article: http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/q-a-peter-jackson-master-of-middle-earth-20130219#ixzz3ZcVahrZh

Writing

Quote of the Week: Mark Gatiss

I’ve never actually written a script where I didn’t know who the Doctor was going to be. You just start thinking about the actor’s voice, speech patterns, mannerisms, and the whole attitude.

– Mark Gatiss

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Image copyright: Tony Antoniou
Writing

Review of The British Library exhibition ‘Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination’

Last week The British Library opened a major new exhibition on the Gothic imagination. Running until 20 January 2015, it marks 250 years of the supernatural in literature and film, starting with Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto, published in 1764.

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Journalism

Interview with Helen Youngs, Chair of the Society of Young Publishers

In honour of World Book Day this week, Marése O’Sullivan spoke to the new Chair of The Society of Young Publishers (SYP), Helen Youngs, to find out about her publishing career so far, being impressed by famous people and what her plans are for the SYP.

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Travel

A Home from Home

When I first landed in Avignon back in September, I was pulling my suitcase behind me, muttering a few phrases in French and wearing big sunglasses. Six months have flown past since then.

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Travel

La France

For the next year, I will be crashing a country where they are renowned for chomping on snails, where they have multiple forms of saying “you” and where they invented the guillotine.

Nervous, me?

While I certainly will be adjusting to a lifestyle quite unlike the Irish one I am so accustomed to, France will be a welcome change. It is undoubtedly a country with a past. Centuries of bloodstained history define my future home: tales of beheaded Kings and battles to the death, tested rivalries and colossal challenges to the defence of the country’s borders from seemingly unconquerable foreign armies echo throughout the ages.

Battle of Castiglione, 1796

France would not be the country it is today without the horrors it has witnessed and the wounds it has attained from bygone eras. The French have a strength, a distinctive toughness, that is evident in their everyday life.

We all feel that our past has marked us somehow – maybe not in an obvious way – but the scars are there, unseen to the human eye. The French, as a people, are a remarkable embodiment of the struggles and pain that their country has endured. Their solemn pride in the rich and magnificent landscape of France, the graceful beauty of the countryside and the shining brilliance of the cities transcends any language or cultural barrier.

Brittany, France

Akin to the Irish, when young and old French soldiers alike were heading into battle, ready to lay down their lives in wars that extended far beyond themselves as individuals, they had to fight to the bitter end for a cause they believed in. They fought for their families, they fought for their freedom, and most of all they fought for their wonderful country that they called their home.

I have realised that the similarities between Ireland and France are more important than their differences. Going to a new country does not mean rejecting the established ways, accepted practices and traditional approaches there. It is about respect: an endeavor to embrace the diversity of a culture more alike your own than not.

That does not mean, however, that I will be trying any snails.

Marése O’Sullivan