Culture Journal Ireland

Fluent in 3 Months – It’ll get you talkin’

The summer is well under way and many of us will have taken to sunnier climbs in order to experience new scenery or a different way of life. Many of us struggle to learn enough of the native tongue of our chosen destination to even get by on. Fluent in Three Months by Benny Lewis, originally published in 2014 by Harper Collins presents itself as a language guide for any language that enables you to be fairly fluent in just three months. Now what magic tricks are used in this process I hear you ask? Well on the surface it would appear to be an awful lot of confidence coupled…

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A History of a land without a country

The Basques; whether you believe them to be part of a region of another country, or, as some do, to be a country within a country, certainly have a unique identity. As someone who grew up in Northern Ireland, seeing Basque flags in republican areas, this strange banner which, to you appears like a union jack with different colours, certainly does make an impression on you. This particular reviewer has had an admittedly bizarre fascination with this strange land for many years which, in turn, lead to a fascination with Spanish history, particularly the Spanish civil war and the parallels with the Irish civil war a decade earlier. This particular…

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The Silence of Others

How would it feel if you or a relative was coldly and callously murdered and buried at the side of the road in an unmarked grave. Imagine if you will that your grave is then tarmacked over to make way for a duel carriageway. This is just one situation faced by many of the families of people who were killed by both sides in the horrific events which took place between 1936 and 1939 when General Franco launched a coup in Spain against the democratically elected socialist government. Upon victory what followed was one of the most brutally oppressive regimes in modern day western Europe. Throughout the civil war and…

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Review of The Low Voices by Manuel Rivas

To my shame I don’t think I had ever heard of Manuel Rivas until a friend (fully aware of my interest in all things Spanish) bought me this book for my birthday. The poetry in Rivas’ writing is astounding. The way he recalls his childhood growing up in rural Galicia and the unique circumstances of growing up during the time of Franco gives Manuel Rivas’ writing depth and breadth that might not have been developed under different circumstances. Translated by Dublin native Jonathan Dunne, The Low Voices is a memoir of childhood, family, poetry, history and those moments in time which make growing up a magical experience. He has memories of…

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