Look among the new books near the door, at 823.914, for Aidan Higgins' A bestiary. This is his three volume autobiography, republished as a single volume. Higgins is now a Saoi of Aosdána and is utterly Irish, born at Celbridge in County Kildare, now a resident of County Cork.
This is a pick up and put down book if you choose, with short entries, each a few pages in length, his family and his loves winding in and out. A sample bit from his brief essay on the Palladian Castletown House: "Lady Katherine and Lady Louisa after her no doubt accepted the poor Catholic villagers as they were: namely, unwashed, evasive, shiftless, fractious (when it suited them), quarrelsome, superstitious, light fingered, poly-progenitive, impertinent, pushy, deferential, scatter-brained, abject and dumb with embarrassment in her presence." (83)
Or "Having lost a leg on Anzio Beach Captain Andy limped for the rest of his life until lost without trance with the crew of the ill-fated Joyita in the fastness of the Tasman Sea. The little ketch had been found a month later a thousand miles off course with a shelter arranged aft as if..." (268)
No, that is not representative. In picking tiny pieces it is impossible to convey the delight. Annie Proulx as quoted in the Frontlist Summary: "The reader who cannot take pleasure from it must be dead. I have stood stunned with admiration for the muscular power and linguistic acrobatics--to say nothing of the elegant play with language and the daring architecture--of his work for years."
Note: Celbridge (Cill Droicid), was within the Pale. The town is now roughly the size of Takoma Park and has an interesting discussion forum. Recent topics: Playground Problems and Ghostly Experience.Posted by library at October 6, 2005 11:36 AM