To mark the (mostly American) St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d post a couple of my favorite quotes from some Irish authors.
On the Anguish of Young Love – “Araby” by James Joyce
I did not know whether I would ever speak to her or not or, if I spoke to her, how I could tell her of my confused adoration. But my body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running upon the wires.
On the Simple Fact of Truth – The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
The truth is rarely pure, and never simple.
On the Writing Life – Interview with Edna O’Brien
When I say I have written from the beginning, I mean that all real writers write from the beginning, that the vocation, the obsession, is already there, and that the obsession derives from an intensity of feeling which normal life cannot accommodate.
On What Lies Ahead – “The Second Coming” by WB Yeats
Turning and turning in the widening gyreThe falcon cannot hear the falconer;Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
On the Misery of Love – “Domestic Violence” by Eavan Boland
nothing is ever entirelyright in the lives of those who love each other.
On the Joy of the Unknowable – At Swim Two Birds by Flann O’Brien
Answers do not matter so much as questions, said the Good Fairy. A good question is very hard to answer. The better the question the harder the answer. There is no answer at all to a very good question.
On the Beauty and Impermanence of Life – “Blackberry-Picking” by Seamus Heaney
I always felt like crying. It wasn’t fairThat all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.Each year I hoped they’d keep, knew they would not.