“The Word in Flames” confirms Dave Lordan’s stature as the most original, incendiary and impassioned voice writing in Ireland today. The combined lyricism and potency of his writing confronts the reader, forcing us, as all great writers do, to see the things we are unwilling or forbidden to know.
Dr. Sinéad Kennedy Department of English, Maynooth University
If you like polemic to be scalding, defiant, revolutionary and erotic, then you’ll rel- ish this book. By turn erudite, poetic, auto-biographical and scholarly (often all of these at once), this is an important anthology of essays by Ireland’s only literary prophet. Beware, it will make you a disciple.
Conor Kostick, Author & lecturer.
Irish writing has not seen prose as brilliant as this since the Enlightenment. With the clarity of Orwell and an indignation reminiscent of Swift, Dave Lordan identi- fies the tensions and responsibilities that crystallise within great art, whenever artists are brave enough to allow them to do so. Echoing Peter Kropotkin, who once asked whether Oscar Wilde praised our capacity to endure oppression at the expense of providing readers with the intellectual equipment to resist the violence of the state, Lordan wonders: “how can we make art from suffering without mak- ing that suffering something beautiful and therefore admirable? And by making something beautiful and admirable aren’t we also inevitably making it pleasing?” His answer to this question is this brilliant, insurgent book, and its announcement of a new revolution in letters that we have all been waiting for. When you have finished reading The Word in Flames, you will walk with your head held higher and with some of the fire it will have lit in your own imagination.
Dr Deaglán Ó Donghaile. Author of Blasted Literature: Victorian Political Fiction and the Shock of Modernism. Senior Lecturer in English Literature Liverpool John Moores University
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