about me

I'm an Irish guy living in France. I like music, books, creative writing, art, history, vegetarianism, people, and chocolate.

blog roll

Why not check out these links?


Monday 10 November 2008


Famine by Liam O'Flaherty follows a family of pratie farmers, the Kilmartins, as they face the potato blight, hunger, disease, the risk of eviction and British oppression in the Black Valley in County Kerry. The book is great in communicating what it must have felt like to struggle for life during the Great Irish famine of 1845-1849, and helps the reader understand why the trauma is so firmly engraved in the Irish psyche.
Liam O'Flaherty was a communist, and this is reflected in the novel, in which religious identity appears less important than class in defining dominant-dominated relationships. However O'Flaherty was no pacifist and this comes across very clearly, as he glorifies martyrdom, revolution and spreading blood for one's class and country. This talk of violence may seem naïve, misguided or even sinister to us today, but the book dates back to 1937, at a time when Ireland was a very young republic and was relying heavily on its set of Republican symbolism and myths to consolidate itself. But the novel does help give an idea of the suffering the Irish people went through during the Famine, which caused several of them to turn to violent revolutionary struggle.
The book is still relevant today as it deals with several issues that many people have to struggle with : identity, oppression, religious hypocrisy, violence/peace, and emigration.

No comments:

Emerald Champagne

rambling on...

Theme Modified by me and licenced under MIT License

Your Blog Title | feed

5ThirtyOne and Blogger Templates design | Top