The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

When I hear the word "gun" I reach for my culture

Jimmy Sands

The recent piece in this publication about James Joyce started me thinking about the role of culture in our national life. It is nothing short of remarkable that a nation which suffered colonial oppression until as recently as 1998, was nevertheless able to punch above its weight in the world of letters. Joyce is perhaps one of the clearest examples, and although he belongs to the world, he is also very much a part of Ireland. Thousands join the Bloomsday celebrations every year, many more visit the Martello Tower or visit what is known as Joyce Country in the wilds of Connemara. Some even read the books. It is no exaggeration to say Ireland loves Joyce as much as Joyce loved Ireland.

Books play an important part in the life of the nation and we have indeed been blessed with an abundance of literary talent; Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, Danny Morrison - the list goes on. Morrison, perhaps our greatest living writer, is a case in point. Together with his good friend, Gerry Adams, they perform an important function as they immortalise in art the historical struggle for freedom that has so recently ended. In both cases, their work rewards close attention as each in his own way paints a picture of the conflict so vivid, that it is sometimes hard to believe that they were not there themselves.

Of course, we are nothing if not democratic in our outlook. In art, as in life everyone has their part to play. Our people love to write, whether you choose prose or poetry, journalism or the Andersonstown News, everyone has a hidden talent. I myself have always considered myself biased towards the more authentic, traditional aspects of our culture (Riverdance, the Corrs and such) but even I have heard the siren call of the muse, and am proud to announce that I have been asked to write the foreword to Bobby Storey's new volume of poetry.

Even the Blanket has the odd good piece now and again....

Happy reading!












Index: Current Articles + Latest News and Views + Book Reviews + Letters + Archives

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.
- Thomas J. Watson

Index: Current Articles

9 February 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


Orange Terror in America
Karen Lyden Cox


Street Traders
Anthony McIntyre


West Belfast: Memories of a childhood voyage of conflict
Davy Carlin


Planned Nationhood
Brian Mór


Breaking the Connection With England

Mary Ward


When I hear the word "gun", I reach for my culture

Jimmy Sands


Where Are The Incubators?
Paul de Rooij


6 February 2003


If You Can't Beat Them, Join Them
Breandán Ó Muirthile


The Spire
Anthony McIntyre


Brian Mór


The Holidays and Joyce
Sean OTorain


Life Story of the Olives
Annie Higgins


The Letters page has been updated.




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The Blanket Magazine Winter 2002
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