Ireland

by Frank Delaney | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0060563494 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingSchratwing of Oberkochen, Baden-Württemberg Germany on 6/6/2006
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingSchratwing from Oberkochen, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Tuesday, June 06, 2006
In the winter of 1951, a storyteller arrives at the home of nine-year-old Roman O'Mara in the Irish countryside. The last practitioner of an honored, centuries-old tradition, the Seanchai enthralls his assembled audience for three evenings running with narratives of foolish kings and fabled saints, of enduring accomplishments and selfless acts - until he is banished from the household for blasphemy and moves on. But these three incomparable nights have changed young Roman forever, setting him on the course he will follow for years to come - as he pursues the elusive, itinerant storyteller ... and the magical tales that are no less than the glorious saga of his tenacious, troubled, and extraordinary isle.

Journal Entry 2 by wingSchratwing from Oberkochen, Baden-Württemberg Germany on Thursday, May 01, 2008
One of the most wonderful books I've read during the past years! In form of a 'link and frame' story an old storyteller, traveling throughout Ireland is telling the whole history of Ireland - up from its beginning to the present time. I'll hand over this book to DEESSE when we'll meet in Freiburg and I hope she'll enjoy it as much as I did.

Journal Entry 3 by DEESSE from Erstein, Alsace France on Sunday, May 04, 2008
I got this book from Schrat who bought it about a year ago together with me - I've heard only the best things about this novel and am looking forward to reading it one day.

Journal Entry 4 by DEESSE from Erstein, Alsace France on Sunday, August 30, 2009
I totally agree with Schrat's opinion on this book and all the praise printed on the first few pages of it - what a wonderful book this is!

Having been to Ireland twice, I've visited most of the "famous" places that are mentioned in the numerous stories, starting with Newgrange where in our times with the help of modern technology tourists can experience the same awe that the "elders" must have felt on their very first visit into the holy chamber. Reading about it was like "reliving" it again! Of course the stories were even better than what the guides tell the tourists, because every single one of it is more about the persons in the story, not only about historical facts.
The last story, the one about the Easter Rising of 1916 was especially vividly told, because the old Storyteller claimed that he had been there the first three days in Dublin's GPO, the Headquarter of the rebel army. By means of little talks, even with the famous leaders, with a wife who came in with her little daughter to ask J. Connolly that her husband could leave the Citizens' Army and come home with them and plenty of other anecdotes, Frank Delaney really makes you feel as if you were there.

The stories are sometimes told by the old Storyteller himself, sometimes by young Ronan, but very often also by people he meets during his search for the Storyteller, e.g. a baker's daughter takes him to a kind of "rural theatre" where three musicians sing a Trilogy about Wexford and explain what happened there.

Of course Ronan's personal story, the story of his life is very thrilling too, how over the years he is encouraged, mainly by his father to go and look for the Storyteller, but every question of him concerning the Storyteller is somehow "blocked off" by his father, uncle, "mother" and "aunt"... Finally he comes back home after a long stroll all around Ireland where he took to the "trade" of telling stories himself and he "'learned a lot. And' - (...)'I learned nothing but good things. Interesting things. Things that harm no one.'" (p.578) What he learned about himself - well, you'll have to read it yourself, I won't spoil it for you...

Finally I'll just quote some passages that either made me smile, think, are funny or simply beautiful:

"John O'Mara told his son, 'When you were born, you had a round, serious face, with big eyes. Most babies look like boxers - but you looked like a little seal, which is what the name Ronan means." (p.62)

"At the meal's end the two women rose, and the Storyteller stood respectfully. 'May I offer my compliments,' he said. 'Many meals satisfy - but few nourish. I have been well nourished this evening, in body and mind.'" (p.68)
A nice way to compliment a good cook, I think.

"I told you earlier that Patrick had left behind some writings, and one of his most famous works was something many of us learned in school, called "Saint Patrick's breastplate", a kind of a cross between a hymn and a poem. It came into his head now. (...) To the rythm of the drum he began to speak the words of the "Breastplate."
'I rise this day. Through Heaven's strength. Lit by the sun. Bathed by the moon. Gloried by fire. I have the speed of lightning. I am swift as the wind. I am deep as the sea. I am stable as the earth. I am firm as stone.' (...)
'God's power will support me,' (...). 'God's wisdom will advise me. God's eyes will look out for me. God's ear will listen for me.' (...)
'God's hand will guard me. God's shield will protect me.' (...)
'I call up,' (...) 'all God's power between me and the forces of evil.'" (p.131)

With the help of this "Breastplate" he "drove the snakes out of Ireland forever and banished the Devil to England. Some people say that explains why there has always been such trouble between England and Ireland. The Devil stirs it up." (p.133)

The Storyteller tells about his own childhood and end with these sentences:
"He - meaning I - had a kindness, a soft way; never intended harm; only wished to wander an easy path through life, 'looking at things and leaving them so,' as the old expression says. (p. 261)

Ronan's history professor tells the end of Parnell's fame because he fell in love with a married woman:
"But he had a colleague whose wife was a beauty, the wondrous Kitty O'Shea, and she began to flutter her eyelashes at him. Handkerchief-pandkerchief followed. There was tumbling in the hay, bosoms heaved, palms grew sweaty - and bang! The word got out; they're tumbling in the hay! Parnell is introducing her to Fagan, a good old Dublin slang term for the compelling act of reproducing the species. (...)Mr Kitty O'Shea was pushed out of the nest, and Charles Stewart Parnell, because he married a divorcée and lost the Catholic vote, went to his doom in a featherbed. Thus, between the sheets, ended the parliamentary career of the uncrowned king of Ireland." (p.571f.)

And he claims to have met the famous poet Yeats (when he was not yet that famous) who said the following during their short talk (it was the time of WW I):
"'I'm glad to hear you're not going to war,' he said. 'Man shouldn't make war, it opposes the natural spirit, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.' (...)
'War', he said, 'goes in the direction opposite to that in which man naturally wants to aim. Man wants peace and ease, so that he can work out the mysteries of life, but war introduces such chaos and actual physical pain that man can't think. And that, of course, is what politicians want - they want us not to think.'" (p.588f.)

Journal Entry 5 by DEESSE at Erstein, Alsace France on Monday, April 09, 2012
This book will travel "home" with me on Wednesday - to the Bookcrossing Convention in Dublin!

Journal Entry 6 by DEESSE at Camden Court Hotel in Dublin, Co. Dublin Ireland on Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Released 8 yrs ago (4/13/2012 UTC) at Camden Court Hotel in Dublin, Co. Dublin Ireland

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

during the BC Convention - on a book table?

Journal Entry 7 by juliebarreto at Dublin, Co. Dublin Ireland on Saturday, April 14, 2012
At my first BXing convention -- here in Dublin -- I met Deesse and Schrat and got to talking about how I'd like a little background about the place, of which I know very little, and they kindly offered me this book. I started it last night, after a little Irish beer and dancing, and it looks like a winner.

18 April 2012 - very enjoyable and a nice easy introduction to Irish history. The Irish really are storytellers, as I found out as I was leaving town to the airport! At 5:00 a.m., my somewhat inebriated fellow travellor had me, the taxi driver, and his companion all in stitches with a story about a dummy legs up in an iced-over Dublin canal!

"I liken Ireland to whiskey in a glass--a cone of amber, a self-contained passage of time, a place apart, reaching out to the world with sometimes an acrid taste, a definite excess of personality, telling her story to all who will listen, hauling them forward by the lapels of their coats until they hear, whether they want to or not. But always, always -- the story is the teller, and the teller is the story." (p. 650)

Released 8 yrs ago (4/18/2012 UTC) at Bücherregal Ziegelhausen in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg Germany

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

on the shelf.

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