Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine

It’s nice to be back….

Well it’s good to return after an unplanned, unannounced sabbatical from the blog with something unusually positive. (BTW, I’m writing this after deleting about 1380 spam comments–has anyone else noticed that in the last year or so the concerns of spam have shifted from porn, viagra, and, erm, “member enhancements” to focus mainly on offers related to Texas Hold ’em? Or is this just the garbage I get?).Anyway, it was good to see that my interview with John Banville in the virtual pages of Three Monkeys Online persuaded the Man Booker Prize judges to choose the Wexford-born writer. However, the televised presentations of the proceeding were rather lame, with a bunch of literary editors searching in vain for synonyms for “moving.” As it appeared that this supposedly intimate lit-chat about the nominees was simultaneously booming across the hall (one could see pictures of the writers wincing slightly as their books were being politely handled), they were hardly going to say anything too harsh/honest. It almost made one long for the days when Tom Paulin used to be on the panel, occasions on which he used to dismiss almost every book as dreadful.Apart from the Banville interview, the Three Monkeys site also features a recent interview I conducted with the Derry-born Sean O’Reilly. His “The Swing of Things” published in 2003/04 was extremely impressive, one of the first books that addressed contemporary Dublin without succumbing to the usual frappacino-and-Beemers clich�s. His latest work “Watermark” is not a smooth read, but I think it’s worth persevering with: there are shards of great prose glinting in the sometimes opaque text. In addition, there’s high hopes that the great Camille Paglia will be gracing the site as she talks about her latest fine work, “Break, Blow, Burn,” in which she discusses in accessible, but never mundane language “43 of the world’s best poems.” Whether some of the poems she selected deserve the accolade “world’s best” is one of the questions that she will, hopefully, address.So I haven’t been slacking off, OK? (And remember, I’ve got a family, job (kind of), and did I tell you my in-laws were visiting….)