Old Istanbul & Other Essays
by Gerard McCarthy


This is the first book of essays by a major new Irish non-fiction writer from the West of Ireland, comparable to the celebrated Kilkenny essayist Hubert Butler first published by The Lilliput Press and subsequently widely acclaimed. McCarthy’s writing is no less distinguished than Butler’s.

Gerard McCarthy writes of the extraordinarily subtle mix of his essays: “Perhaps the Philosophers who had the most enduring influence on me were the contrary figures of Nietzsche and Marcus Aurelius. The reading of each was an antidote to the other, but I was drawn to both by an instinctive affinity. They were augmented subsequently by the gargantuan figure of Michel de Montaigne. My interest has continued to be in the region where Philosophy merges into Literature, with a preference for a language of metaphor rather than of abstract reasoning.”

McCarthy continues: “These eight essays were written over the course of more than a decade. The fact that they have all been published in the one place, by the good offices of Irish Pages, has allowed me see the continuity between them, and to hope that they might be seen by the reader to form a unity.”


A retired social worker, Gerard McCarthy was born in 1949 and reared in Dublin, and now lives in Sligo, where he has spent most of his adult life. He studied Philosophy at University College Dublin. His first eight published essays – now collected here – have all appeared in issues of Irish Pages. He divides his time between his Sligo residence, an old schoolhouse on Collanmore Island in Clew Bay, and various travels to the Mediterranean and other peripheries of Europe.

165 pages
ISBN: 978-1-8382018-0-7