M Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction and Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel and post Colonial Asian Fiction are some of my Literary Interests

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"Drink and Time in Dublin" by Flann O'Brien (Myles na Gopaleen)


This just might be the perfect Irish drinking story by a writer legendary for his own drinking and love of the pub life.  I am grateful for the opportunity to read one of his works through the generous gesture of Dalkey Archives who will soon be publishing a collection of his short stories.  In each of the 75 or so Q and A sessions I have done with Irish authors I have asked them why there is so much drinking in Irish literature.   I received some brilliant answers in response but there is no consensus.  I have a feeling if I asked Flann O'Brien this I would be lucky just to be asked if I was a tea-totaler and on an unlucky day I might get a bottle of Guinness broken over my head. 

This really fun to read story is about what happens when a man's wife leaves him unsupervised for a few days when she goes to visit relatives.   We follow him into the pubs as he gets drunker and drunker. Of course he gets himself in some trouble.  I laughed when I learned he was supposed to stay at his brother-in-law's house while his wife was gone.  There is an interesting turn of events at the close of this very entertaining story. 

You can read this story at the link below.

http://www.brooklynrail.org/2013/07/fiction/drink-and-time-in-dublin#

I hope to read more of his work one day.

Mel u

2 comments:

Nan said...

I've not read O'Brien but I have an Irish friend who really likes his work. I've always been intrigued by the title At-Swim-Two-Birds. I'll be on the lookout for the book of his short stories.
I think there's so much drinking in Irish lit because in Ireland there's a lot of drinking. I looked around a bit and found this interesting study:
http://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/5841/1/2396-2528.pdf

mel u said...

Nan. I read the article. It is very good. Thanks for sharing it and your comment.