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, May 23, 2012

"The Shoemaker" by Seamus O'Kelly

"The Shoemaker" by Seamus O'Kelly (1918, 20 pages)

The Irish Corner
A Celebration of the Irish Short Story
March 11 to July 1

"Welcome, Cousin"-
A  Clurichaun
Please consider joining us for this event.     Everything you need to participate is in the resources page, including links to 1000s of short stories, from brand new ones to stories now in the public domain.   Guests posts are also welcome.  

"The Weaver's Grave" by Seamus O'Kelly (1878 TO 1918, County Galloway) is considered one of the greatest of all Irish short stories.   I posted previously on that story and "The Rector" and "A Wayside Burial".   Semaus O'Kelly's stories are a great way to learn about Irish folklore and customs and they are also beautifully written.   "The Shoemaker" is a really fun story to read.   It is about two shoemakers, a real one and a cousin to the leprechaun, the clurichaun.   Leprechauns are famous as shoemakers and the clurichaun also is a shoemaker, but not for humans or fairies.   He makes shoes for swallows.    I wondered when I read this why swallows needed shoes and the story explains this to us, perfectly plausible of course.   It seems in their migrations the swallows need to cross the Dead Sea, and they cannot fly over it so the clurichauns have set up shop on the banks of the dead sea, with millions of tiny shoes made just for swallows.   We learn this story from a human shoemaker who is telling the story to one of his customers.   He also tells a lot of other very interesting stories about greedy and good landlords, how cats discovered electricity, and other marvelous facts.   According to tradition  clurichaun are drunk most of the time and have nasty attitudes.  
"Just what we don't need, one of
Rory's Cousins"-Carmilla

The story is very "old fashioned: in its narrative framing through the use of the device of one person in the story telling a story to another.  

This story is contained in The Waysiders which is a public domain work and can be easily downloaded.

Mel u

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