“a voice of reason”

If you missed last night’s BBC NI programme Keane on Longley it’s still available on the BBC’s iPlayer – I noted his line on “the opposite of war” recently. Although the point on identity picked up by Chekov seems to be an echo of John Hewitt’s oft-quoted phrase.

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  • Longley also asks “why restrict yourself to one cultural allegiance?”. The interesting thing about his attitude is that he doesn’t conflate a more nuanced and subtle sense of identity with an “identity crisis” as many are inclined to do when considering unionists or those who don’t subscribe necessarily to a nationalist analysis.

  • The Penguin

    A programme on Michael Longley was long overdue.
    A great poet and a lovely human being. One of the best products of NI.

    I really enjoyed the thing, but kept wishing that Fergal would just shut up and stop bringing everything back to himself.

  • Pete Baker

    ..but kept wishing that Fergal would just shut up and stop bringing everything back to himself.

    Indeed.

    I was tempted to shout “It’s not about you!” more than once when watching.

    But it was still an enjoyable programme.

  • An Lochlannach

    I thought it was the most hideous bout of lovieness that I’ve seen since the last arts documentary I had the misfortune to catch. Why does every documentary made about Irish artists, alive or dead, have to be a work of hagiography?

  • The Dubliner

    “Why does every documentary made about Irish artists, alive or dead, have to be a work of hagiography?”

    Sharp observation. I think it’s probably a cultural hangover from the days when appreciation of artists (a natural resource) was Ireland’s primary means of differentiating itself from other impoverished countries. Contrast it with the abrupt succinctness of my all-time favourite review from the defunct British music paper, Melody Maker, referring to the latest artistic offering from a Canadian singer-songwriter, poet, novelist, and Companion of the Order of Canada (Canada’s highest honour, awarded by the Governor General): “Leonard Cohen is a boring old drone and should go the fuck back to Canada where he belongs.”

  • Dec

    I was tempted to shout “It’s not about you!” more than once when watching.

    How dare Fergal Keane impose himself upon a programmme entitled Keane on Longley!
    Seriously though, who gives a fuck about Michael Longley’s musings on identity? About 6 people outside his immediate family, I’d imagine.