Kilclief & Other Essays – TLS review 1st July 2023
When I first heard about Twitch – a live-streaming service through which you can watch other people playing video games – I didn’t really understand it. If you have a games console, I thought, why not just play the games yourself? Surely it is better to experience the thrills first-hand? I soon reasoned, however, that I enjoy reading books about other people reading books. To gain an alternative set of perspectives; to see the things they see; to watch their brains extrapolate and place the works in wider literary and historical contexts: this, I suspect, is my Twitch. How lucky, then, that new volumes from two of Ireland’s finest readers – Patricia Craig and Seamus Deane – have been published. Each offers a variety of new perspectives on even the most well-read (and re-read) of books.