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> > > John O'Donoghue

John O'Donoghue is an author, poet, and journalist. He blogs about Outsider Art, drawing on the aesthetics of Art Brut and applying these in particular to poetry - investigating the idea of 'Poesie Brut'.

Outside In At Pallant House

25 July 2011


painting of a sailing boat by Alfred Wallis

You wouldn’t think Chichester was the kind of place Outsider Artists would feel much at home in. It’s a prosperous cathedral city in the southeast of England, the Downs close by, with a genteel air and a rather old-fashioned atmosphere. Tea rooms, bookshops, and a medieval gate all make this kind of place you half expect to see John Betjeman rooting around in, or perhaps some of those artists who were his friends and contemporaries, people like John Piper, or Ben Nicholson, or...

Comments: 4

The News of a World Gone Mad

22 July 2011


Do you remember Lady Isobel Barnett? She was a star of the TV panel game What’s My Line? in the early days of television and went on to appear on radio. Her husband died in 1970 and she retreated into a semi-reclusive existence in Leicestershire. In 1980 she was arrested for shoplifting a can of tuna and a carton of cream worth 87p from her village grocer. She pleaded not guilty and the case was brought before the court. The story was featured in the Sunday newspapers – and more...

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Byron... then and now

18 July 2011


Portrait of Lord Byron

The invitation came by post: 29 January 2009, The John Murray Authors’ Party, 50 Albemarle Street W1. It’s one of the most famous addresses in literary history. Byron’s 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage' was passed out of the window of the drawing room to crowds on the pavement, and his memoirs were burnt 12 years later in the fireplace. I mount the steps and enter a gilded world, a grand London townhouse, full of glamour and ghosts, and then I am in that famous salon. There is...

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