anyone still visit this board

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anyone still visit this board

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Mar 2, 2008, 6:13pm

i was just wondering if i'm the only person who still visits this board. its been very quite of late. If there are still people here why not share your favorite book by a paddy. Mine is the bodhran makers by John B Keane or maybe the the third policeman by our man Flann or maybe... oh screw it this message will just echo in the void wont it .

Mar 3, 2008, 8:15pm

echo echo!

It's a tricky board to follow closely. Don't know my favourite "paddy" author!

Hmmmh! Will think on it

Edited: Mar 4, 2008, 3:14pm

Still here, through the miracle of RSS.

My favourite Irish book is probably Ulysses, cliché and all that that sounds. Dracula second.

Mar 5, 2008, 12:15pm

Anything by John McGahern.
And I think Colm Tóibín is the bees knees.

Mar 5, 2008, 2:49pm

Frank O'Connor is always good, any collection of his short stories, anything by Patrick Kavanagh I like anything by Mary Lavin. The list is endless, honestly I would love to see more discussioin too, I mean for such a literary Nation, cmawn for God's sake ...

Mar 8, 2008, 7:36pm

thanks for the response. i'd forgoten all about Patrick kavanagh, its been over three years since ive last read the green fool so ive moved it to the top of my tbr pile, i have a copy of his by night unstarred which i'm saving for a time i really need a good read.

i've not yet read Ulysses (for shame) but thats in the long term pile too, a portrait would be another of my big favs.

i have loved the McGahern's ive read, The dark and the barracks. i got a first edition of the pornographer which i'm dying to get to.

thanks again for posting. does anyone have any ideas to get this group going again. it used to be great but now its so quiet.

Mar 12, 2008, 9:22pm

does anyone know of any sites that might have character and theme lists for "the green fool" by kavanagh?

Mar 17, 2008, 10:41am

No, but Happy Paddy's Day anyway!

Edited: Mar 28, 2008, 9:44pm

I've just come across this group and look forward to reading some of the books mentioned here.

By the way, has anyone found, as have I, that the most enjoyable way of reading Ulysses is - aloud? Lucky none of you true Irish are around to hear me murdering your accent!

Having had a few hours to ponder this intriguing question, I now wonder whether it's not the accent so much as the cadence of the language. Of course one "hears" it in one's mind when reading Joyce, but to literally hear it is so much more satisfying. Is this peculiar to poetry do you think?

Edited to add final (?) paragraph.

Mar 29, 2008, 12:40pm

There are audio versions of Ulysses out there. I am not usually into audio books but I make exceptions when the reader is exceptional and/or the book is from the oral tradition e.g. Heaney's version of Beowulf.

Mar 29, 2008, 7:19pm

Oh no, liamfoley, an audio-book of Ulysses wouldn't do at all. Or not for me. My need is to read it aloud - myself. With a bit of imagination I can convince myself that what I hear sounds Irish; besides I need to see the words before me, and the punctuation. I also need to pause and reflect at frequent intervals. (Yes, I know there are such things as "pause" buttons - but it's not the same!)

Although Ulysses might not be considered "from the oral tradition", I have always felt that most Irish writing has the ring of the Irish oral tradition behind it. Would others agree?

An interesting idea of yours regarding Heaney's version of Beowulf. I might see if our local library has an audio version - just out of curiosity (audio-books are, generally, not my thing either).

But wait - there's an exception: Under Milkwood narrated by Richard Burton. A Play for voices, of course - so from the oral tradition perhaps.

Mar 30, 2008, 8:01am

True, hearing an exceptional reader, or someone read their own work. I love to hear that other great Welsh man Dylan Thomas read his own. BTW both Dylan Thomas reading A Child's Christmas in Wales and Heaney reading his transaltion of Beowulf are available on iTunes (at least the US version).

Apr 10, 2008, 5:53pm

Patrick Kavanagh would come close alright! That's an oversight.

After that though . . .

With the exception of maybe Eilis Dillon who I loved as a kid

Apr 11, 2008, 5:41pm

i was just wondering if anyone read any of mercier press's publications? i just finished The Wormdigger's Daughter and fell in love with it. John B keane is published by them too i think

Edited: Apr 15, 2008, 11:06pm

Of course Oscar Wilde, but I've been collecting Brian Moore's early works and think he's fantastic. Unfortunately most Americans have never heard of him so I'm sitting here all by myself thinking of {The Luck of Ginger Coffey}. Can anyone tell me about Moore's reputation in his native land?

Apr 16, 2008, 6:30pm

#15; i don't know about the rest of the island but i love Brian Moore. in secondary school we read his lies of silence for the leaving cert and i've steadily been working through his other works since. The lonely passion of Judith Hearn, the doctor's wife & the mangan inheritance are fantastic, but it's probably his novella Catholics that's most special to me. i have a biography of him which is by Patricia craig, but i've not read it yet. i was able to get a signed edition of Lies of silence without breaking the bank -- whatever that tells you.

thanks so much for bringing up his name here; it's been ages since i read anything by him. i think i'll read auld Judith Hearne again next.

Apr 16, 2008, 11:44pm

Thanks for giving me the info, STOCeallaigh. I'm so glad to hear that a talented writer such as Moore received the appreciation he deserved. Of the novels you mentioned I've only read The lonely passion... but I have a very early edition of The Emperor of Ice Cream (maybe first edition-have to check).

Apr 18, 2008, 5:52am

STOCeallaigh, I don't remember Moore on the LC. I have read Catholics but I cant remember offhand any of his other works that I have read.

Apr 18, 2008, 9:06pm

i did the leaving cert in 2001; i think that was the first year after the update of the subjects contents (i might be wrong). Oh yeah, I only did ordinary level English that might be why you don’t remember it. But, as I recall for the junior-cert ordinary level got to do the hobbit and Playboy of the western world while higher level got Shakespeare. I know which I prefer.

i'm not 100% sure but i think moore was nominated for the booker for lies of silence

Apr 21, 2008, 3:43pm

I did the LC in '91, now you make me feel so old, as long as I still have more books than you! I think that the curriculum for the Senior/Leaving Cert is better toady than it was in my time. In my day it was Shakespeare and the Anglo Irish poets with a bit of that miserable old bast*** Kavanagh thrown in! Still a bit of dross there I bet. Don't knock the bard, I have to say that alone he makes little sense but I see him as a step along the way in between Beowulf the Canterbury Tales and of course The Hobbit. I love them all.

Apr 21, 2008, 3:53pm

As an American, I'm guessing that an LC is like our high school graduation. In which case, if you are required to know Shakespeare, Brian Moore and poetry in order to graduate, you must have an amazing education system. If only our country had such standards.

Apr 21, 2008, 6:16pm

Interesting to see what students need to study to graduate from high school. Here in Australia we, also, had the Leaving Certificate - now called the Higher School Certificate. I don't know what they read now, except I heard one of my young relatives mention Ian Rankin. Things were not so interesting in my day!

However, the point of my posting today is to enquire of you Irish as to the meaning of "stravaiging" and "culchie". I'm guessing from the context that "stravaiging" could mean "wandering aimlessly around (e.g. the streets)", and that a "culchie" could mean a country boy (or girl).

I'm reading Benjamin Black (John Banville)'s The Silver Swan at the moment and am certain I'll need further linguistic enlightenment before the (metaphorical) day's out - if you don't mind my asking.

Edited: Apr 22, 2008, 5:40pm

#22 Thrin
i had to dig out the old Hiberno-English dictionary for 'stravague'. it means "to wander about aimlessly; to saunter, to stroll"
culchie is indeed a person of the rural persuasion, but a lot of jackeens (Dubliners) use it to describe anyone from outside the capital.
if you come across any more ambiguous words remember i'm here with my dictionary at the ready

Liam; by no means would i dare to right-off the bard. But when i was a teen i really got a kick out of lies of silence and the murky world of the troubles. english was actually a pretty good subject when i did it: we even used films as a comparative medium.
i don’t think I’d call doing your lc in '91 old; someone on LT told me "you're only as old as your non-fiction," not sure what he meant but it sounds good

Apr 24, 2008, 3:24am

Thanks, #23 STOCeallaigh, for going to that trouble for me. How wonderful to be able to ask for and receive such help!

As it's turned out The Silver Swan wasn't as much to my taste as I had hoped it would be; after the initial stravaiging by the culchie there wasn't much of linguistic interest. However, I do intend reading more fiction set in Ireland and Scotland... I hope you don't come to regret your generous offer!

Thanks again.

May 8, 2008, 9:58am

I’m reading Dermot Bolger’s 1990 novel set in the Dublin of the 1980s, The Journey Home, which caused a big stir in Ireland at the time for touching on issues that had rarely been touched on in Irish fiction at the time, such as heroin addiction and political corruption. It’s been recently published in the U.S. by the University of Texas Press. So far I’ve been quite absorbed in the story that teeters between third and first person narratives and gives a hint of something heinous that has happened. It’s a nice change just for the fact that the book eschews the staples of most Irish literary novels.

Bolger is an author whose work I've been meaning to get at for some time, and I wish I would have come to it sooner. Quite sure I'll be exploring more of it in the future.

May 14, 2008, 10:28am


Thanks for the praise! I work @ Mercier and we really enjoyed publishing The Wormdigger's Daughter the Keane list is still selling strong!


Jun 14, 2008, 2:19pm

Thank you cousin STOCeallaigh for #23, last line - I did my Leaving Cert in '91 too :-)

Jun 14, 2008, 2:22pm

Eoin, I have fond memories of the Kerryman joke books that were published by Mercier in the - 70s? 80s? Those were the days.
Didn't know they were still on the go, to be honest, but I've been out of the loop for a very long time. Being old, you see. Having done my LC in '91, you see. Sigh.

Edited: Jun 14, 2008, 5:06pm

Do you remember what was on the English paper citizenkelly? I did the LC in '91 too! We had the Anglo-Irish hammered into us, they are bound to turn up apparently! I must say, however, it is a great pleasure to read good Irish poetry, drama or novesl without having to sweat over someone elses analysis.

Jun 15, 2008, 2:14am

em, I think Macbeth and Philadelphia, Here I Come ... and as for poetry, I've completely forgotten. Hard Times and The Mayor of Casterbridge. And what was the modern novel? It's all a haze...

Jun 15, 2008, 11:58am

Lay on MacDuff!
BTW saw this a few weeks ago, seems that if we waited a tear or two our chances of getting a better grade would have increased: