There is a radical agency in John Moriarty’s work that we as readers don’t always spot. As our heads spin with mythological cross-referencing, poetical leaps and the philosophical bent, it is clear that there is nothing domestic, nothing tame, about John Moriarty. The power of Moriarty is that he has found a thousand beautiful ways to say something very disturbing: we have to change our lives.
In this small book of big thoughts, award-winning author, mythologist and storyteller Martin Shaw situates Moriarty’s work with respect to our eco-conscious era and a readership seeking spiritual and philosophical guidance. Moriarty asks of us only one thing – that we move our gaze from seeing to beholding. And there the trouble begins, when we realize there is a world beyond us far bigger than our temporary ambitions.
A Hut at the Edge of the Village presents a collection of Moriarty’s writings ordered thematically, with sections ranging from place, love and wildness through to voyaging, ceremony and the legitimacy of sorrow. These carefully chosen extracts are supported by an introduction by Martin Shaw and foreword by Tommy Tiernan, a long-time admirer of Moriarty’s work.
According to Shaw, ‘These are not pastoral times we are living in, but prophetic. We are at a moment when the world as we understand it has been turned upside down. The challenge is that there are fewer and fewer people who can interpret such happenings in a deep, soulful way. Moriarty can do that. When culture is in woeful crisis, the insights never come from parliament, senate, or committee; they come from the hut at the edge of the village. Let’s go there. There is tremendous, unexpected hope waiting.’