Check out the Supermarket Tycoon's Love of the Classics; Talk OF THE Town

Daily Mail (London), November 25, 2010 | Go to article overview

Check out the Supermarket Tycoon's Love of the Classics; Talk OF THE Town


Byline: JAMES GIBBONS

POLITICIANS and poets, legal eagles, academics and, er, supermarket magnates will assemble in Dublin City Hall this evening - united by their passion for a decidedly risque Latin poet. The occasion is the launch of a slim volume - The Irish Catullus, Or One Gentleman From Verona - of new translations by Irish authors and scholars of the poetry of the racy Roman Gaius Valerius Catullus, who was born in Verona in 84BC and died in Rome around 54BC.

Catullus's timeless, and sometimes obscene, poems of love, hate and steamy sex have survived the rise and fall of civilisations - so they should have no trouble surviving these new Irish and English translations by the likes of Frank McGuinness, Michael Longley, Professor John Dillon (called after his grandfather, John Dillon, and great-grandfather, John Blake Dillon), Derek Mahon, Michael Carroll, John F. Deane, John Banville, Michael Hartnett and Padraig O Snodaigh (owner of Coisceim and father of Sinn Fein TD and street brawler Aengus).

But it's not the sort of book that will fly off the shelves at Dunnes Stores so why will Margaret Heffernan be present this evening in a place of honour? …

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