No Special Magic

“I had an aged Volvo once (this is not irrelevant), and I was on holiday in Ireland in the summer, as I usually am, and the boot — which you call the trunk — jammed. I went in to the local garage man in my Kerry village and said, “I suppose I should take it to a Volvo dealer.” He lifted up a monkey wrench and hit the back of the car where the boot was jammed with a great belt. As he hit it (and it did spring open), he said, “In matters like this, Volvo dealers wield no special magic.”

-Tyler Cowen interviewing Roy Foster, “Roy Foster on Ireland’s Many Unmade Futures.” Conversations With Tyler. April 6, 2022.

Enjoyed the whole discussion, but since I collect little stories, I was particularly charmed by this bit.

Book of Kells

“The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament together with various prefatory texts and tables. It was created in a Columban monastery in either Britain or Ireland and may have had contributions from various Columban institutions from both Britain and Ireland. It is believed to have been created c. 800 AD. The text of the Gospels is largely drawn from the Vulgate, although it also includes several passages drawn from the earlier versions of the Bible known as the Vetus Latina. It is a masterwork of Western calligraphy and represents the pinnacle of Insular illumination. It is also widely regarded as Ireland’s finest national treasure.”

—s.v. “Book of Kells,” Wikipedia.

Images of the Book of Kells have recently been rescanned.