Colm Tóibín

Colm Tóibín is Irene and Sidney B. Silverman Professor of the Humanities at Columbia. His latest book is On Elizabeth Bishop.

See NYRB titles related to this contributor.

  • Gawking at Quixote

    April 15, 2015

    A brilliantly coherent show at the Frick explores the French artist Charles Coypel’s remarkable illustrations of Don Quixote.

  • Goya: Order and Disorder

    January 21, 2015

    A selection of prints and paintings from “Goya: Order and Disorder” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, with commentary by Colm Tóibín.

  • The Sweet Troubles of Proust

    February 22, 2013

    A specter haunts the exhibition of Proust’s notebooks, manuscripts, and correspondence currently running at the Morgan Library. It is the specter of Proust’s mother.

  • Still Drama: Marina at MoMA

    April 21, 2010

    At ten o’clock on a recent weekday morning, when the crowds were let in the door and up the stairs to the big hall on the second floor of MoMA, Marina Abramović was already seated in the center of a space that had been cordoned off by lines on the floor, strong lights making it seem like a movie set.

  • Glorious Ghosts

    November 19, 2009

    Wexford is a small town on the sea in the south-east of Ireland and an unlikely place to host an opera festival. Yet since 1951 in late October the town has organized what has become for many opera-lovers an essential date in the calendar. The reason why it has remained important is not merely the intimacy of the setting, the general air of welcome and the strange sea-washed beauty of the old town, but the policy since the early 1970s to program three operas that have fallen beneath the radar, that are seldom or never performed.

  • Hopkins: The Odd Man Out

    October 26, 2009

    One of the strangest and most beautiful shows in the Dublin Theatre Festival, which ran during the first week of October, was entitled “No Worst There Is None” and concerned the life of the English poet and Jesuit Gerard Manley Hopkins. It was performed for an audience of twenty-five who followed the actors around the rooms of Newman House on St Stephen’s Green in Dublin. This eighteenth century building, which is owned by University College Dublin, has a plaque outside commemorating three disparate figures who spent time in its lofty halls—Cardinal Newman, the first head of the National University of Ireland; James Joyce, who was a student here; and poor, depressed Hopkins, who, sent to Dublin by his order, spent the last five years of his life in the building and wrote what are called his “terrible sonnets.”

  • Why Ireland Said Yes

    October 16, 2009

    On October 2, I joined hundreds of thousands of other Irish voters in approving the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty by a surprising majority 63 to 33 percent.

  • Francis Bacon: Late Paintings

    November 7, 2015 — December 12, 2015

    Bacon in this painting makes the shadow figure more ghostly, stronger in outline than in positive space or texture.