Alan Titley, The Irish Times, 07/06/03
Antain Mac Lochlainn is another voracious reader in Irish literature, but of another kind. His book is a collection of quotes from those international authors who have been translated into Irish. The translation work done by the state publishing house, An Gúm, in the 1920s and 1930s was often fashionably disparaged, but this work shows the range and value of that project, as well as the work done by independent translators in more recent years. The older world has entered Irish via the thoughts and musings of Chekov and Marx, and Socrates and Pascal, and Shakespeare, and Dante, and just about anybody you want. Mac Lochlainn organises his material thematically, and you sense that he has done this with a certain amount of impish humour when it suited him. So while we have quotes on religion, anarchy, justice, revenge, politics in the normal fashion, we also have mischievous pieces on, for example The Orange Order and Limerick. He will sometimes contrast one quote with another, as in Dafyyd ap Gwilym's observation that God isn't as merciless as people think He is, with the bible's which claims Him to be a man of sword and war. Montaigne is quoted as saying that the world is awash with commentary, but of writers we have few. This is the best antidote.