Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ireland Reading List

So I went to Ireland last month, and had a great time. Really interesting. The people were so awesome. And the country was really a surprise.

Since I was traveling with my hyper literate family we of course had like twenty books between us. I tried to read ULYSSES, again, and got through a couple big chunks of it. The inside-the-mind-of-a-woman part at the end being a lot of fun and extremely provocative for it's time I'm sure, and still kind of amazing now if a little confusing ... and actually, in my opinion, pornographic, despite the judge's opinion in the front of the book. Not that I object. I love stuff like this. When books can't tell you the truth about how people think what's the point. Zombie and Vampire fans, exempted of course. Nerds of all eras flee reality, it is their historical destiny, but I digress ....

Anyway, I tried a bunch of different books but got truly swept up in one nonfiction worked called PADDY'S LAMENT by Thomas Gallagher. An Irish American writer, not able to grasp why his countrymen hated the English so much, investigates the Potato Famine and the British role in it. Well he gets pretty pissed off as he does and this book is his pissed off near-rant against the brutal British gutting of Ireland. (see photo of farmers being thrown out of their houses and into the bogs)

Structurally a little weird, the drive of the book is the great descriptions of the actualities of what went on when the potato crop failed two years in a row and the British used it to genocidally reduce the Irish from being poor to being dead.

Anyway, I generally stay away from "righteous anger" books, but this one totally sucked me in, especially as we poked around Ireland and came to see how TOTALLY DIFFERENT the Irish are from the British. It is two different worlds. So that was my fave read in Ireland.

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