Bernard Mac Laverty Valentine Cunningham - Essay

Valentine Cunningham

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Marinaded in legend, memorialised in endless song, televised nightly, no politics are more self-consciously alert to the way they appear on stage than the Irish sort. And Bernard Mac Laverty's gripping new political thriller, 'Cal', grips not least because of its attentiveness to how things look, and to how people obsessively watch themselves, within the Ulster frame. Mac Laverty's people keep wanting to take snapshots of, as well as potshots at, each other. Eager voyeurs, they peer continually through windows, through lenses, through camera shutters. What they, and we, see are beauties and terrors awesomely mingling.

Telling moments are stilled, with daunting indiscriminateness, into the illuminated...

(The entire section is 445 words.)