“It was all ‘father, oh father’,” Bob Geldof says, mimicking a pious female voice addressing a priest. Then in his own voice: “Fuck off, you’re not my father.” Geldof is railing against Irish groveling to the Roman Catholic church in Fanatic Heart, a documentary about the life and work of Ireland’s great poet (and subject of my most recent novel): William Butler Yeats. Geldof argues that the poet and literary statesman brought about revolutionary change in Ireland’s struggle for independence, without firing a bullet. Instead of guns, his modus operandi was a poetic national vision, betrayed by the Roman Catholic nation-state that emerged after Irish independence. So it was not…Continue reading
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