Tuesday, November 13, 2012

No Good Irish Writers? Say What?

Here is a pic of the last two books I read.
Coraline is terrific, I highly recommend it.
I just finished the John Banville one tonight and I loved it. The totally neat thing about The Infinities is that it is primarily narrated by the Greek god Hermes. And he's a real hoot. With this book Banville has taken the omniscient narrator thing to a unique level, with Hermes as mouthpiece. Here, several "gods" [like Zeus and Pan] descend and alter the lives of the Godley family, the patriarch of which is dying.

Adam Godley, a famous mathematical genius on a par with Einstein, has suffered a stroke [while defecating] one day.
Hey! It happens! It's nearly happened to me a time or two, in those same circumstances.
Anyhoo -- the family gathers at the ancestral manor to re-connect and await the imminent demise of Adam. But the gods have much to say about the proceedings. And do

Some of the stuff they do is pretty wild, actually. Just ask the pretty daughter-in law Helen, she'll tell ya!
Banville is a genius and I love this the best of the four books by him I have now devoured.

I was walking through the office at work with the book in hand today and told a certain person, "Hey, you should really read this book, it's terrific!" And he replied, "Nope. I won't read any Irish author because none of them are any good. Except maybe James Joyce."
And in one of those sadly recurring verbal moments when I suffer a brief aneurism [or maybe it was a stroke] I failed to come up with a good response for this racist statement.
But after thinking about it, I realized there are tons of great Irish authors I love.
Like Colm Toibin, William Trevor, Oscar Wilde, and if poetry counts, what about Yeats! 

And two Irish-Canadian writers come to mind -- Emma Donoghue and Brian Moore.
I think it's wrong to condemn any country in the world as having no good authors at work in it. 

Because there are great writers everywhere.
Maybe even especially in Ireland. Or like... CANADA!


Euronymous said...

irony: the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning.

The same co-worker pointed out that the Irish are in fact the world's best writers and wondered why? He then recommended Cahill's book on "How the Irish Saved Civilization" while suggesting the Irish's long history of writing may be the reason for their great skill at literature.

You sir are the definition of selective hearing.

However, I did mean it when I said Canadian authors are terrible. There is no getting around that.

Anonymous said...

Not true about Canadian authors. Sorry, Euronymous, you're just plain wrong about that.