Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Sunday, March 18, 2012

"First Conjuction" by Julia O' Faolain

"First Conjuction" by Julia O' Faolain (1978, 11 pages)

Irish Short Story Week Year II
March 12 to March 31

Resources and Ideas for Irish Short Story Week

O' Faolain Day
Father and Daughter

Please consider joining us for Irish Short Story Week Year Two, March 12 to March 31.  All you need do is post on one short story by an Irish author and send me a comment or an email and I will include it in the master post at the end of the challenge.  

Irish Short Story Week, always set around St. Patrick's Day (March 17 this year) will be from March 12 to March 22.   Last year a total of about 60 different stories were posted on by people from all over the world.   

Julia O' Faolain  (1936) is the daughter of the great Irish writer, Sean O'Faolain.   Her father has already been featured today.

Julia O'Faolain is a very well regarded and productive writer.  One of her novels, No Country for Old Men",  was short listed for the 1980 Man Booker Prize.   I was happy to see that William Trevor included one of her short stories, "First Conjunction" in his collection The Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories, enabling me to read one of her works.

I am assuming that the title "First Conjunction" is meant to make us think of First Communion, a very important Catholic coming of age ritual.   

The story is narrated by a young woman in college, probably in her first or second year.   She and her friends are all in awe of the female professor of Italian, from Italy.   She seems like the epitome of worldliness and sophistication to her,   Combined with the looks of an Italian movie star and a very patrician highly cultured persona and you have a perfect role, jealousy model for the female students.   The narrator and her best friend are interested in meeting boys.   That is one of the things they talk about most.   

"Please join me for the after
challenge Party"-Carmilla
The girls begin to hear gossip about the professor and her husband, he is said to treat her badly.   The girls are shocked when they see her husband, much shorter than her, not at all good looking and a bit heavy.    I will tell a bit of the plot here but not too much.   The professor somehow gets the idea her husband in cheating on her with the student and alol hell breaks lose.   

As time goes by, a local lad who was interested in the narrator but whom she scorned as a "nerdish" type now looks very good to her.   I am assuming the title "First Conjunction" also refers to the possible combination of the student and her suitor.   

"Join Us"-Rory
This is a good story and I am glad I read it.

Mel u

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