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FREE E-PUB ⚝ Exile ⚽ Representing the earliest example of modernist fiction in Irish, this narrative follows Micil O Maolain, who has been hit by a car shortly after arriving from Galway to look for work Emerging from the hospital, he has lost an arm and a leg, and his face has been disfigured He becomes a sideshow freak to support himself, traveling around England and even back to Galway, but he eventually returns to London, where he dies, down and out, in one of the city s parks A remarkable, intensely painted picture of poverty, degradation, and hunger, told with surprising humor at a conversational remove from literary artifice which is its own kind of artifice, of course The first person narrator could easily be taken as a synecdoche for Ireland itself over the past several centuries it was published in 1910 , particularly in relation to the bigger, richer island to the east mutilated, castaway, humiliated, and enraged, he longs both to take his revenge and to b A remarkable, intensely painted picture of poverty, degradation, and hunger, told with surprising humor at a conversational remove from literary artifice which is its own kind of artifice, of course The first person narrator could easily be taken as a synecdoche for Ireland itself over the past several centuries it was published in 1910 , particularly in relation to the bigger, richer island to the east mutilated, castaway, humiliated, and enraged, he longs both to take his revenge and to be left in peace, but the floating carnival of life carries him with it regardless.Called the first modernist novel written in Irish, it s ratherin the spirit of Yeats than of Joyce unmediated passions, striking images, and unspoken social criticism dominate it farthan Jesuitical analysis, Freudian self absorption, and language play Then again, I could only read a translation maybe the original language is a wonder too The translation tends to be rather baldly declarative, which turned out to be fine once I slipped into the rhythm even at its grimmest, there s still the hint of a wink, a master story teller letting you know he s got it all under control I d actually had read some of O Conaire s stories in high school, but truly forgot about him until seeing the wonderful statue erected in his honor in Galway Exile is his only novel and I have to say I enjoy his short stories better Part of it is that this story involves a circus, and I ve just never been a fan of the circus It s also pretty dark, yet in O Conaire fashion, still humorous He is able to do great character development in just a few words Like his short stories, this was orig I d actually had read some of O Conaire s stories in high school, but truly forgot about him until seeing the wonderful statue erected in his honor in Galway Exile is his only novel and I have to say I enjoy his short stories better Part of it is that this story involves a circus, and I ve just never been a fan of the circus It s also pretty dark, yet in O Conaire fashion, still humorous He is able to do great character development in just a few words Like his short stories, this was originally written in Gaelic, so maybe something got lost in translation, but am thinking not as this was a fairly recent translation I truly recommend the works of O Conaire, just not sure about this one unless you ve read his other works Reminiscent of early modernist books such as Knut Hamsun s Hunger , Exile by P draic Conaire paints a bleak and existential picture of life on the bread line Originally written as Gaeilge, Exile is rife with absurdist black Irish humor akin to Beckett or of the films of Martin McDonagh Vivid imagery, strong storytelling and an easy, enjoyable read An underrated figure of Irish literature 8.3