first_imgNovelist Michael Collins, member of the Notre Dame class of 1987, read excerpts from his most recent novel, “The Death of All Things Seen,” on Wednesday in the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore.As an undergraduate, Collins was a varsity track athlete at Notre Dame on scholarship from Limerick, Ireland, majoring in English and business.“I came as an athlete and only survived two years at Notre Dame on scholarship, and I was allowed by the benevolence of [University President Emeritus] Fr. [Theodore] Hesburgh to stay without finishing my running career,” Collins said. “What he did say was, ‘If you’re going to stay on here, do something, don’t be a quitter. You’re not leaving the team because you’re a failure.’ And I said ‘No, I want to become educated. I want to do something else.’”That “something else” was first programming software — a skill he taught himself — at Microsoft under Bill Gates, and then later becoming a successful novelist whose works have been translated into 17 languages.William O’Rourke, professor emeritus and founder of the Notre Dame Creative Writing graduate program, said Collins was the reason he founded the program.“Michael was one of the most extraordinary students I’ve ever encountered, and it wasn’t just because he had over-the-horizon genius in writing,” O’Rourke said. “He has this ability of prose which very few people have, he’s a long distance runner world class and he also worked with Bill Gates at Microsoft.“He traverses three cultures.”One of Collins’ early novels, “The Keepers of Truth,” which is set in a town that closely resembles South Bend, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the IMPAC Award. The book led to both his recognition in the literary world and his firing from Microsoft, because they were unaware of his writing career, O’Rourke said.Since then, Collins has written 10 novels in total, all part of an American series that “lament the passing of American greatness,” Collins said.Collins read from his most recent novel, “The Death of All Things Seen”, which is the last in the series.“[The Death of All Things Seen is] a Chicago novel. It’s both sociological, realistic and philosophical — a genre that’s very popular these days,” O’Rourke said.Collins attributed his recent success to the current political climate surrounding the election of President Donald Trump.“When I started writing, it was to understand my own country, to process all that I had left behind in Ireland — again in 1983, Catholics versus Protestants and the whole in Ireland, you got to America and you never wanted to go home.” Collins said. “Writing is about psychotherapy for me. Perhaps it takes a point of dislocation to better receive the past or understand it. It would not be until I became an engineer for Microsoft in the mid ’90s that I would begin to reflect on our collective future.”“The Death of All Things Seen” begins in 2008 in the wake of the economic crisis and the election of then-President Barack Obama. The novel “moves around the central idea that there is no single narrative anymore — that each life simply occupies the same moment, that one’s perception and understanding of the world is never the same to any one person,” Collins said. “This is a world of fracture.”Collins, who is an ultra runner in addition to novelist and is captain of the Irish National 100k team, says that distance running and writing overlap in the areas of self-deprivation and discipline.“Every book takes about three months to write. You spend a lot of time preparing for a book and then you have to find a three-month space to do it. Writing a book is not difficult when you decide to do it,” Collins said. “I do 100-mile races, people think three months is long, but 100 miles is long too. If you prepare for it … you say on that particular day, ‘I’m going to do it,’ to the detriment of everything else in your life.”Collins then offered some advice to aspiring novelists.“Compress everything into a short period of time. If you give yourself too much time to do something, you give yourself an out.”Tags: creative writing, Ireland, Michael Collins, rev. theodore hesburgh, The Death of All Things Seen, Tracklast_img read more

first_imgEngie expands in Australia, buys development rights for 420MW wind farm FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Renew Economy:Engie, the world’s biggest independent power producer, is reviving its push into the Australia renewable energy market with the purchase of development rights to the $750 million Hills of Gold wind project in northern New South Wales.Engie will take on the ongoing development of the 420MW wind farm, the largest wind project in the state, which is set to be constructed near the town of Nundle in NSW’s New England region, after buying out the development entity Wind Energy Partners.The project will be at the heart of what is set to be one of Australia’s first renewable energy zones, planned by the NSW government for the New England region, and is set to create more than 215 direct jobs during the construction phase, and 30 ongoing roles once in operation.Engie is one of the world’s largest electricity utilities, with the French multinational operating more than 115GW of generation capacity globally, including a 19GW portfolio of renewable energy projects.Engie’s acquisition of the rights to the Hills of Gold wind farm is the latest in a number of multinational energy companies that have made a push into the Australian clean energy space, as they work to pivot away from businesses built on traditional fossil fuel projects. This includes global energy giants Enel, and oil majors Total, Shell and BP, which have all made major acquisitions as they expand their local investments in clean energy ventures, and who can provide the balance sheet to overcome nervous financiers.The project will involve the installation of up to 70 wind turbines, with a rated output of 6MW per wind turbine, and will include the installation of an onsite substation linking the project to the transmission network link that runs between Liddell and Tamworth. At 6MW per turbine, the project will see some of the largest wind turbines ever deployed in Australia and with each turbine standing at more than 200 metres in height. Construction of the Hills of Gold wind farm is expected to commence in early 2022.[Michael Mazengarb]More: World’s biggest power producer buys $750 million wind project in NSWlast_img read more

first_img…calls for protection of MPsOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo is calling for the authorities and the National Assembly to implement measures that will protect Members of Parliament and ensure that Friday’s no-confidence vote can go forward unhindered.Jagdeo made this call during a press conference on Monday at his Church Street, Georgetown office. The Opposition Leader expressed fears that there may be attempts to disrupt the vote by persons in the gallery.According to Jagdeo, it only takes one crossover vote or two abstentions from the Government side for them to win. He said that because of this precarious margin and certain information his party has received, they were apprehensive.“We are aware that they plan to install people in the galleries and should someone (from Government) vote in favour of the no-confidence motion, from the galleriesOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeothey will … disrupt the vote. We’ve heard that should [that] fail, some of their MPs will disrupt the vote.”Jagdeo theorised that they may be hoping that should the vote be disrupted, the vote will be invalidated. He made it clear that his party would notify Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Barton Scotland.“We will bring this to the attention of the Speaker. We will also insist, like what happens in many parts of the world, once someone votes in favour of the no-confidence motion, the Government falls. If you have 32 votes on our side, and one of their Members of Parliament vote in favour, the mathematics changes and it’s 33 in favour and 32 remaining votes.“When the Clerk of the National Assembly calls the names of the Members of Parliament and should one of their members vote (in favour), no matter what happens afterwards, the vote is passed … because if you allow disruptions, you can never have (a non-contentious vote). So, if the Speaker allows (the vote to be invalidated), we will deem that an act of collusion.”Jagdeo expressed hope that the diplomatic community would bear witness to the proceedings, whichever way the vote turned out. Noting that the proceedings were being recorded, he warned that attempts to disrupt the vote would be publicised around the world. Jagdeo also spoke of threats and related that they would write to the Commissioner of Police.“I know for sure, apart from the occasional threats to our MPs passed off in a jocular manner, so they can always claim it was done in jest. But these threats are pregnant in the parliamentary atmosphere. We know for sure the threats are even more ominous and take on real form.”That being said, Jagdeo also extended an olive branch. In light of the December 21 date for the motion falling close to Christmas, Jagdeo had no objections to the National Assembly delaying the vote to early January.No confidenceJagdeo had first announced the no-confidence motion on November 15, on the heels of devastating losses in the Local Government Elections (LGE) for the coalition Government.The next day, the scheduled sitting of the National Assembly was abruptly cancelled at Government’s request and the Opposition turned up to an empty chamber. At the half-empty Parliament Chambers, Jagdeo reiterated some of his expectations regarding the motion.In a subsequent advertisement, the PPP went into further detail on its reasons for filing the motion, and the concrete reasons for the people’s rejection of the People’s National Congress (PNC)-led coalition. It pointed to the thousands of jobs that have been lost as a result of the closure of Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) estates.In addition, the Party referred to the various scandals that have erupted under the Administration. They include the single sourcing of the feasibility contract for the new Demerara River crossing, the single sourcing of a drug bond and the single sourcing of drug procurement contracts.The Party noted the numerous breaches of fiscal laws flagged by the Audit Office of Guyana in its reports, as well as the lack of accountability in the D’Urban Park Project, something even the Auditor General had to launch a special probe into. The depletion of Guyana’s gold and foreign reserves was also highlighted.Court settlements since the coalition Government took office were also zeroed in on by the Party. The Attorney General’s Chambers has come under much criticism for not being able to secure successes in several cases against the State.Since taking office, in addition to losing cases, Government has opted to enter into out-of-court settlements. These settlements include sums to the tune of US$5.7 million, $226 million and $3.8 billion.last_img read more