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The Crock of Gold (original 1912; edition 2014)
by James Stephens (Author)
The Crock of Gold by James Stephens (1912)
Best Fantasy Novels (291)
Irish writers (22)
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Philosophical story featuring leprechauns, policemen and the Great God Pan. Funny, occasionally depressing and very thoughtful. The leprechaun story elements seem a little confused and some of the descriptive or philosophical passages can be a bit long. However i REALLY enjoyed this one and tore through it very quickly. ( )
..., for hunger and love and curiosity are the great impelling forces of life. [p. 7]
To understand the theory which underlies all things is not sufficient. Theory is but the preparation for practice. It has occurred to me, brother, that wisdom may not be the end of everything. Goodness and kindliness are, perhaps, beyond wisdom. Is it not possible that the ultimate end is gaiety and music and a dance of joy? Wisdom is the oldest of all things. Wisdom is the head and no heart. [p. 12]
A thought is a real thing and words are only its raiment, but a thought is as shy as a virgin; unless it is fittingly appareled we may not look on its shadowy nakedness; .... [p. 39]
Wisdom is righteous and clean, but Love is unclean and holy. [p. 45]
The duty of life is the sacrifice of self: it is to renounce the little ego that the mighty ego may be freed; and knowing this, she found at last that she knew Happiness, that divine discontent which cannot rest nor be at ease until its bourne is attained and the knowledge of a man is added to the gaiety of a child. Angus had told her that beyond this there lay the great ecstasy which is Love and God and the beginning and the end of all things; for everything must come from the Liberty into the Bondage, that it may return again to the Liberty comprehending all things and fitted for that fiery enjoyment. This cannot be until there are no more fools living, for until the last fool has grown wise wisdom will totter and freedom will still be invisible. Growth is no by years but by multitudes, and until there is a common eye no one person can see God, for the eye of all nature will scarcely be great enough to look upon that majesty. We shall greet Happiness by multitudes, but we can only greet Him by starry systems and a universal love. [p. 221]
A classic about magic and how it can haunt us like a rainbow - remorselessly.
Quite a book! a gallimaufry of Blakean cosmography, Celtic Twilight theosophy, satirical use of mythology a la James Branch Cabell, and... I don't know what all. It's not what I'd call well-plotted, and sometimes the 'philosophical' disquisitions can get tangled or drag on... but it all works. It's funny, poignant, good natured... not to sound like a hack movie reviewer, it's 'delightful'. Makes me want to read more of this author.
939 The Crock of Gold, by James Stephens (read 31 Dec 1967) This book was on a list of best books in I think the 20 years before the list came out. As was true of other books in that list, I was thoroughly bored by this book and was happy when I came to the last page. This I well remember now over 40 years later
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Pass a pleasant afternoon with this delightful collection of short stories. Simple but not simplistic, these diverting tales are rendered in exquisitely rich and often playful language that will have you lingering over sentences and highlighting your favorite passages so you can revisit them again and again. The Crock of Gold is the perfect blend of literary virtuosity and lighthearted fun.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)823.912Literature English & Old English literatures English fiction Modern Period 1901-1999 1901-1945
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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.