Thursday, October 31, 2013

Life of Brian NOT

This is Brian Lynch's second novel and it promises loads of sex and celebrity, junior Department of Finance types, Leeson St., and Dalkey. I have so much in common with the blurb that I can't wait to get into it.

Brian has been a writer since he was in my class in school. He had the good fortune, as did we all, to have an exceptional English teacher in Michael Judge. Not only did Judgie appreciate Brian's budding talent at the time, but he left his mark on all of us in one way or another.

Once he got the curriculum out of the way, he led us through the magic land of Godot, Gerard Manley Hopkins and the (anti) war poets, Sassoon and Owen. These were all stricly non-U at the time and, I suspect, were not done in any other school.

My first contact with Brian's actual public writing was his long poem Pity for the Wicked, a very powerful piece of writing which strips the romanticism from the Northern Ireland conflict and attempts to restore meaning to language.

So, to the present book. Brian, above, was anxious to stress that it was not autobiographical, hence the title of this post, nor were any of the characters meant to depict any living person. Clearly, however, there are bits of all sorts of people in it or there wouldn't be a book.

The actual official launch was performed by Paul Durcan, a long time friend of Brian's and a well known and much travelled poet. As Brian commented, doing a reading is one thing but making a speech is another. So the drill was that Paul read one of his poems, which connected with Brian at an earlier stage of both their lives, and he then simply declared the book launched.

Brian, left, in earnest conversation with Paul

Part of attending a book launch is buying a copy of the book and having it signed by the author. Then when he has passed on, and if you're still around, you can flog it on eBay for a fortune. Just joking!

The book was published by Brian's own publishing house, Duras Press. And it really is a family affair at this stage. One daughter, Clare, was responsible for typesetting and designing it and another daughter, Camille, for promoting it.

A novel feature of this launch was a cello recital by Zoe Riordon, daughter of Serena Condon to whom the book is dedicated. Dr. Condon, in another life, once smuggled Brian into the lying-In hospital across the road from our school. Zoe is a very talented young lady and the combination of Bach and the cello really has got everything.

I listened carefully up close but I think that for most of the attendees the music turned to wallpaper behind the babble.

But then the babble is also part of the fabric of a book launch, so you just can't win them all.

The launch was held in The Little Museum of Dublin on St. Stephen's Green. This little gem of a place is well worth a visit if you're in town.

1 comment:

Cormac Ograda said...

Go n-eiri leis an leabhar! An Gradach