The Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread Muffins are in the oven, so while I wait to please my gustatory senses, I thought I’d use the time to share a few yummy bits of writing—passages that feed my reader’s soul—I have found whilst reading Irish authors. And boy, is there a plethora of delectable stuff from which to choose.
Especially from Oscar Wilde, who was nothing if not quotable. I opted for this one because it’s probably one the first from him I ever heard, and I like to think about making my diary much as this character’s is!
I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train. – Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest
This one is from A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy—a prolific author, famous for weaving together the stories of disparate characters. I like this one because, it’s just so true to life—and just for the sake of clarity let me tell you that Gloria is a cat and Chicky is a human.
Within seconds, Gloria appeared, looking hopeful, wound herself around Chicky’s legs, then sat down for some urgent leg-washing. – Maeve Binchy, A Week in Winter
I’ll admit that I haven’t yet had the guts to tackle James Joyce’s Ulysses, but I have enjoyed some of his short stories, including those in the collection called Dubliners. My favorite is “The Dead” which ends with this gorgeous and haunting passage:
It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight . . . It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.
– James Joyce, “The Dead”
Okay, so these last two—both from Eoin Colfer—best known for the Artemis Fowl series—are a bit on the course side, but I think they’re still worth reading, even if you’re not into that sort of thing. The first is from Half Moon Investigations, a delightful middle grade version of a noir detective story. The second is from Screwed, which is, I suppose also a noir detective story, just of the adult variety. Anyway, I absolutely love the grossly accurate description in the first one and the funny imagery in the second. Oh, and they’re that much better if you imagine them in an Irish accent:
Unfortunately, when I say Doobie was snot-nosed, it’s not just a turn of phrase. Doobie never went anywhere without a couple of green yo-yo’s hanging from his nostrils, which he then snorted back up so hard that they wrapped around his brain.
– Eoin Colfer, Half Moon Investigations
This room has no windows and only one door, which is blocked by two buttery cops, so I’m gonna have to go through the wall.
Go through the wall?
Even thinking it sounds ridiculous. Nevertheless it’s either that or the aforementioned ball slicing. I crab roll onto the bed with just enough momentum to come to my feet.
“Hey,” burbles Fortz through the blood. “Stop! Police!”
In the words of the sweatband-wearing fuzzy legend J. McEnroe: “You cannot be serious!”
I bet McEnroe said “fucking” all the time off camera. You can just imagine it coming out of his face. – Eoin Colfer, Screwed
There are so many more wonderful Irish writers to quote (which ones do you like?), but my soda bread muffins are out of the oven and simply begging to be eaten with a steaming cup of Irish Breakfast Tea, so I’ll simply say, Happy St. Patrick’s Day and may there be many yummy books (Irish and not) in your near future!