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Old 12-17-2013, 11:26 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by BelleZora View Post

I am eager for the library to deliver The Collected Stories of Frank O'Connor and hope that the ten stories still to be found will be among the 67 in the book. Regardless, I will read every one of them.
Collected Stories has five of the stories; I was able to find the other five in Domestic Relations (3) and the 1952 The Stories of Frank O'Connor (2). Is it too much to hope for an omnibus some day?
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:27 AM   #17
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I find so many just little bits wonderful in these stories. Like in The Genius when his mother tells the boy her version of the facts of life (with the mother's engine needing the father's crank to start it ).
Compared to what the other kids were being told, that was amazingly on point!
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:57 AM   #18
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Collected Stories has five of the stories; I was able to find the other five in Domestic Relations (3) and the 1952 The Stories of Frank O'Connor (2). Is it too much to hope for an omnibus some day?
Thanks, Issybird. I will search for those two books in Tucson's public library when I get there next month. I suppose I could order them from Amazon, but I find the idea of wandering America in search of Frank O'Connor more appealing.

Edit: After all the Irish books I've read lately, I'm thinking of temporarily trading my 4-wheel-drive truck for a backpack and a ticket to Ireland.

Last edited by BelleZora; 12-17-2013 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 12-17-2013, 05:08 PM   #19
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Another delicious bit, from "My Oedipus Complex":

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There was that little matter of the baby, for instance. Mother and I could never agree about that. Ours was the only house in the terrace without a new baby, and Mother said we couldn't afford one till Father came back from the war because they cost seventeen and six. That showed how simple she was. The Geneys up the road had a baby, and everyone knew they couldn't afford seventeen and six. It was probably a cheap baby, and Mother wanted something really good, but I felt she was too exclusive. The Geneys' baby would have done us fine.
And then at the end of "Uprooted" this beautiful passage:

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There was a magical light on everything. A boy on a horse rose suddenly against the sky, a startling picture. Through the apple-green light over Carriganassa ran long streaks of crimson, so still they might have been enamelled. Magic, magic, magic! He saw it as in a children's picture-book with all its colours intolerably bright; something he had outgrown and could never return to, while the world he aspired to was as remote and intangible as it had seemed even in the despair of youth.

It seemed as if only now for the first time he was leaving home; for the first time and forever saying good-bye to it all.
fantasyfan, I think the whole club has fallen in love with Frank O'Connor! Thanks so much for nominating him.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:37 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by BelleZora View Post
The first story in the book, Guests of the Nation, not on the 'approved' list, was a gut punch that is still haunting me. Unfortunately, I doubt I will ever forget it.
Oh golly. I have just read this one - devastating.
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:50 AM   #21
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...........
fantasyfan, I think the whole club has fallen in love with Frank O'Connor! Thanks so much for nominating him.
I agree. It is a very nice selection.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:42 PM   #22
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I agree. It is a very nice selection.
I am joining the queue of thanks, too!
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:02 PM   #23
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In the introduction to Collected Stories of Frank O'Connor (Haupf, 1981), Richard Ellman writes this, referencing O'Connor's experience in the Civil War:

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A sentence in Gogol's story “The Overcoat” summed up O'Connor's state of mind and he would borrow it later when writing about prisoners: “And anything that happened to me after I never felt the same about again.”
After reading that line in several stories, most devastatingly at the end of Guests of the Nation, it is good to know this.
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:15 PM   #24
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This is not really off-topic since Gogol was an influence for Frank O'Connor. I found The Overcoat and other selected Short Stories in the MR library. I was struck by this line in the description by Roy White, who posted the book:

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The Overcoat is his best known and spawned the phrase, "We all came out of Gogol's Overcoat" attributed to Dostoevsky.
Edit: Not a good copy since there are no paragraph indents. I bought the Dover Thrift Editon at Kobo using the 50dec code for $1.75. The superior translation is worth the money.

Last edited by BelleZora; 12-18-2013 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 12-18-2013, 04:46 PM   #25
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Thanks for that, Belle. (Will my To Be Read pile ever get any smaller, I wonder?)
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:09 PM   #26
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Thank you everyone.

I'm glad that so many are enjoying this great Irish teller of tales.

I also admire the great insights you all bring to the discussion with your posts.
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:11 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BelleZora View Post

. . .

The first story in the book, Guests of the Nation, not on the 'approved' list, was a gut punch that is still haunting me. Unfortunately, I doubt I will ever forget it.

. . .
I'm glad that someone mentioned it as there was nothing in the title that would have drawn my attention to be sure and read it. I actually saw a film version of that short story, oh it must be at least 30 years ago. The name O'Connor meant nothing to me, nor the title Guest of the Nation, but I was only partially through reading it just today when it all came back to me. When I saw that on television so long ago, I am certain that it aired on public television here but was British (or maybe Irish) made, it stayed on my mind for weeks. The end scene with 'Awkins pleading that he'll change sides if that's what it will take, he just wants to live, hard to read and it was harder to watch dramatized.


I really also like The Paragon. I was expecting something of a predictable ending, but found something much more reflective of real life.

Last edited by Hamlet53; 12-18-2013 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:22 PM   #28
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Thanks for that, Belle. (Will my To Be Read pile ever get any smaller, I wonder?)
Finding a great writer is something like beginning a road trip: you never quite know where you are going and where you may end up, but the greatest pleasure comes from discovery and then following wherever it may lead.
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:40 PM   #29
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University College Cork has developed the Frank O'Connor Research Website. It has an interesting biography section, audio & videos, etc. The link to an old Paris Review interview under Online Resources is very interesting.

http://frankoconnor.ucc.ie/index.php?teanga=
http://www.theparisreview.org/interv...-frank-oconnor
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Old 12-19-2013, 02:54 AM   #30
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Very wise and true, Belle!

Many thanks for the two websites, Bookworm_Girl - both look very interesting and I hope to get to them soon.
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