I’ve been a subscriber to The Irish Times for about six months now (it is delivered imperceptibly every morning, waiting for me on the front step when I come down). One of the very great things about it is the variety and scope of the writers. Reading them week after week, you get a sense of their personality (the norm now of putting the writer’s picture at the top of the article helps, too). I read a lot of international news media on the Internet, too, but it doesn’t compare to leafing through the paper over a cup of coffee, casting one’s eye over the properly full-sized pages, reading the odd thing that jumps out. For example, Michael Dervan is the grandmaster of music criticism in Ireland — towering in stature and in intellect — so I had to read twice the following charmingly Dumbledore-ish sentence in his column today:
In its lowest range [the double bass] is utterly unique, rich and soft-textured in a way that makes you smile and want to rub your tummy.
He describes the new film, A Late Quartet, too (about the complicated relationships between the members of a professional string quartet), which sounds very good. (Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christopher Walken?! — albeit, as it transpires, senza vibrato…)