Man Without Qualities

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Perils Of Paulin

The Man Without Qualities is no fan of anti-Semitic poet Tom Paulin, and the report relayed in today's Best of the Web that Columbia University won't offer him a permanent position comes as quite a relief.

But it is a real stretch to refer to Mr. Paulin as "Irish," as Best of the Web does and has done - and MWQ has also done. That description is seriously misleading. Most people use the word "Irish" (as opposed to "Northern Irish") mostly to refer to those from the Irish Republic (or whatever their current politics allows them to call that particular piece of land) - and that's not Tom Paulin. As noted in a prior post:

In fairness to the Irish, poet, critic and playwright Tom (Thomas Neilson) Paulin was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, on 25 January 1949 but was raised in Belfast in Northern Ireland, where his father was the headmaster of a grammar school and his mother was a doctor. He was educated at Hull University and Lincoln College, Oxford.

In other words: Tom Paulin is as British as John Bull.

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