Thursday, June 08, 2017

De Profundis


I would like to issue an apology to all logophiles and finely tuned aesthetes who were offended by a piece I wrote in the current (summer) edition of the Irish Arts Review. In my review of the photographer John Minihan’s work in the Under the Hammer section there is a reference to his infamous photograph of the young Diana Spencer in a “transparent dress”. The dress of course was “translucent” and not transparent. To state it was the latter is to infer that the sainted Diana was parading around brazenly in a see-through dress – a profound calumny on the blameless ingenue. A writer struggles daily for the mot juste – the exactly apposite word. In the context, translucent was that word. Transparent is a semi-synonym that just won’t do.         

John P. O'Sullivan

June 2017