* Lissa Evans’s Crooked Heart is published by Black Swan.
The Best of Myles by Brian O’NolanChosen by Ian Martin
Which Brian O’Nolan was funnier – novelist “Flann O’Brien” or columnist “Myles na gCopaleen”? Both were madly futuristic. At Swim-Two-Birds, his masterpiece, has characters conspiring against their author, erupting into the baffled real world as if in some weird Charlie Kaufman movie. The Third Policeman, with its proposition that people and their bicycles are exchanging molecules, one slowly becoming the other, now feels like something the mainstream media might be hiding from conspiracy theorists. However, The Best of Myles, an anthology of satirical columns he wrote for the Irish Times, has been a lighthouse for me since the early 70s, and remains the funniest book I’ve ever read. With swaggering confidence, O’Nolan invents a parallel-reality Dublin in 1940 and then riffs for 26 years, until he dies. It’s a four-dimensional tour de force. There are “regulars”: The Brother, a monstrous chancer; Keats and Chapman, literary dandies with a weakness for puns; and the Plain People of Ireland, a sort of unreliable chorus. It’s a world both banal and absurd, where rogue ventriloquist theatre escorts – and intoxicating ice-cream – cause mayhem. One bloke spends all day cracking a fiendish newspaper crossword just to stroll into a bar in the evening and help an astonished acquaintance “solve” it. This book is a masterclass in how to defy a boring world with mischief.
The Church of England tradition is one of tremendous flexibility. The discussion at the general synod about the wearing or non-wearing of robes was no big deal. It was simply legalising what has become common practice in the expression of that flexibility.
Party of Democratic Action SDA – centre-right
Alliance for a Better Future of Bosnia and Herzegovina SBB BiH -centre-right
Croatian, Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina HDZ BiH – centre-right
Croatian Democratic Union 1990 HDZ 1990 – centre-right
Alliance of Independent Social Democrats SNSD – centre-left (though in reality, nationalist)
Serb Democratic Party SDS – right-wing
Party positioning is indicative and to be viewed in the context and framework of the country’s politics.
There are 10 candidates for the post of Bosniak member of the three-member Presidency. Croats will be choosing between four candidates, while there are three candidates for the Serb seat.
The 2010 electionThe last general elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina were held in 2010. Turnout was 56%.
The clear winner in Republika Srpska entity was the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, SNSD, with 43.3%, nearly twice as much as the SDS. In the Federation, the Social-democratic party, SDP, and the Party of Democratic Action, SDA, won 26% and 19.5% of the vote respectively. The largest Bosnian Croat political force was the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, with 11%. A six-party government (between the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the Party of Democratic Action(SDA), the Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina (HDZ), the Croatian Democratic Union 1990, the Serbian Democratic Party (SDS), and the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD)) was eventually formed 15 months after the election.
The outgoing government and parliament have been dubbed the worst ever. 106 laws were adopted by parliament in the past four years, down from the 180 between 2006-2010. As a comparison, over the same period the Montenegrin government adopted about 350 laws, Serbia 500 and Croatia about 750.
In the tripartite presidency vote, the SNSD candidate Nebojsa Radmanovic was the clear winner among Serb voters, while the SDA candidate Bakir Izetbegovic prevailed as the Bosniak member of the Presidency, and the SDP candidate Zeljko Komsic emerged as the Croat member of the Presidency. The latter result was not welcomed among several right-wing Croat parties who accused Komsic of being elected by Bosniak voters.
“>A reminder of the wars in former Yugoslavia at the Newseum in Washington D.C. Photo: Alberto Nardelli for The Guardian.A country’s constitution and institutions are always a consequence of its history. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the divisions of the past may have been frozen, but their complexity and scars remain deeply enshrined in how the country’s parliament and government are elected and organised.
Four years later, he was one of the scriptwriters of Alicia en el pueblo de maravillas, a black comedy about bureaucracy, which the Cuban government suppressed. Though no one else involved was penalised, Díaz was advised that it would be better for him not to return from teaching film in Berlin, and he subsequently settled in Madrid.
The Cuban writer, filmmaker and intellectual Jésus Díaz, who has died unexpectedly in Madrid aged 60, was among his country’s most controversial figures, both before and after his exile in 1991. The author of half a dozen novels, which portray the vicissitudes of characters caught up in politically trying circumstances, he refused to stay silent when he himself was forced into exile, and set about founding the journal Encuentro de la Cultura Cubana to promote dialogue between Cubans at home and abroad.Born in Havana, Díaz belonged to a generation that was propelled into accelerated activity by the 1959 revolution, and he rapidly went from being a student militant to editing Caimán Barbudo, the literary supplement of the newspaper Juventud Rebelde, soon achieving wider prominence when his book of short stories, Los anos duros (The Hard Years), won the Casa de las Americas prize in 1965.