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

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Owney and Owney-Na-Peak" by Gerald Griffin

"Owney and Owney-Na-Peak" by Gerald Griffin (1831, 10 pages)

Irish Short Story Week is
now extended to April 11

March 23 to March 29
Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasants

Please consider joining us for Irish Short Story Week Year Two, March 12 to April 11.  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.  

In 1831 the Dublin Zoo opens.  There are patches of unrest throughout much of agrarian Ireland.  The Hunchback of Notre Dame is published.  Slave trading is forbidden in Brazil.  

Gerald Griffin (1803 to 1840-Limerick, Ireland) began his writing career working for a newspaper and then began to write fiction.   His most famous work is a novel centering on a murder, The Collegians.   He died at thirty six of typhus.    I have previously posted on his terrifying story of the famine years, "The Brown Man" and Parrish Lantern has just done a very good post on this story.

"Owney and Owney-Na-Peak"  has an awfully lot of twists and turns and in these twists and turns we learn a lot about what the famine years have done to the peasants (I am not fond of this term but I will use it).   There are three central characters in the story, two cousins, all that is left of their family, the daughter of a king and the king.  As the story unwinds each of the brothers in turn put the other brother's eyes out with a hot iron rod, one of the bothers learns from a little person how cure himself and ends up married to a kings daughter after he cures him of blindness.     I

I think the capricious violence and the really reaching for it happy ending reflect how very little control people had of their own lives.  This was a fun story and it is too bad Griffin burned most of his manuscripts a couple of years before he died.  

Mel u

"Carmilla, be sure and let
Mr Griffin know you are 150 year old
"Mr Griffin, why so stressed, let me
help you relax"-Carmilla

No comments: