S4 E9 The McGahern Affair Part 2, the scandal

When The Dark was banned in 1965, John McGahern’s life changed dramatically. A story of vengeful clerics, useless unions and disinterested civil servants that stands as the greatest censorship scandal in modern Ireland.

First edition cover of The Dark (1965)

S4 E4 Torrid trash: Wheatley ‘To the Devil a Daughter’ (1953)

I had a lot of fun trashing this book with Cian from Wide Atlantic Weird podcast. Wheatley was a reactionary old racist who sold millions of books over a 40 year career. His influence on popular culture is probably underestimated. Partly thanks to him, naked women, candles and goat heads are visual short-hand for Satanism.

A cover from the 70’s, the famed ‘Tit’s Edition’

Season 4 Begins 7 January 2021!

Here’s the episode list which ranges from the bizarre to the historically weighty. And yes, the censors were still banning in 1992.

Madonna, Sex (1992): banned after it sold out…

Anon, The Lustful Turk (1828): proper porn with a lot of racist tropes.

Margaret Mead, Growing up in Samoa (1928): scholarly but smutty.

Denis Wheatley, To the Devil, a Daughter (1953): time for more Satanism!

Radclyffe Hall, The Well of Loneliness (1928): a queer text whose author scandalized London.

Thorne Smith, The Passionate Witch (1941): phallocentric fluffy smut.

Kate O’Brien, The Land of Spices (1941): a remarkably beautiful book offering powerful critiques of nationalism and religion in Ireland

John McGahern, Deep Dive Part One: The Dark (1965) : a book that reformed the censorship law deserves proper scrutiny.

John McGahern, Deep Dive Part Two: The Dark (1965)

The Irish language episode: still thinking about which book…

BONUS Joyce, ‘Ulysses’ (1922): banned almost everywhere *except* Ireland