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

Monday, March 18, 2013

"Animals" by Roddy Doyle

"Animals" by Roddy Doyle  (2011, 14 pages)

March 1 to March 31

Year III

Event Resources-Links to lots of short stories, from classics to brand new works.   

My Prior Posts on Roddy Doyle

Roddy Doyle (1958, Dublin, there is background information on him in my prior posts on his work) is one of my favorite contemporary novelists.   People who know a lot more about Irish literature than I do say he is  one of the  best sources for learning  about life in contemporary Ireland.   I have read eight of his novels so obviously I like his work a lot.    Many of his novels are set among working class people in Dublin.   Much of the narrative in his work is carried in beautiful almost lilting at times Hibernian-English.     In 2012 during Irish Short Story Month Year II I posted on his very entertaining short story "Bullfighting".   

Like much of his other work, "Animals" centers on a family, in his case mostly the father, trying to deal with economic hard times in Ireland while keeping as much of your dignity as you can.    When we first meet George he is tending to same dead pet fish.    They are kind of important to his kids and he knows they will be said so he takes a cab over to a another town where they have a pet shop.   He gets what will be a long series of dogs that do not last too long.   We also learn about his marriage, like some of the other marriages in his work, and lots of one's in real life, it has its ups and downs but it endures. He is now on the dole and he has a mortgage and credit card bills so he is stressed.   He also has a weakness in his heart.  As time goes on we can gradually see him getting more and more into his pets, mostly dogs but some more fish also.   I admit I can relate very well only in my case it is cats.   To lapse into language that would be common place in the novels of Doyle, sometimes when you have problems pressing in on you it is just better to say "f*** it" and be with your pets.  This is sort of what this story means to me.  

I read this in New Irish Short Stories edited by Joseph O'Connor

There is a very interesting brand new interview with Doyle here

Mel u

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