IRISH JOURNAL by Heinrich Boll


Email this review


A tribute to Ireland from a German writer is an unlikely event. Heinrich Boll has now made it also a delightful one, perhaps to make up for Tara's native ingrates. George Moore said he could never be really Irish because he never made a speech in his life, and Shaw in a ditty tells us he ""found no music in the glens/Nor purple in the bogs/And as far as angels' laughter in the smelly Liffy's tide--/Well, my Irish daddy said it, but the dead old humbug lied."" The Liffy, the Shannon, County Mayo, Limerick ""the most devout city in the world"" (where Lola Montez was born!), Connemara and Dublin, greengrocers and innkeepers--Boll's little memento of a journey taken in the mid-Fifties touches on all these fabled sites, types, and oddities, a land where the road still belongs to the cow and an old man can be fetchingly described as ""a year older than dynamite."" Nothing of great consequence here, except, of course, Boll's splendid prose, his knack for creating little dramas or comedies out of trifles, his sharp repertorial sense, the generosity and accuracy of his judgment.

Pub Date: Aug. 7th, 1967
ISBN: 1935554190
Publisher: McGraw-Hill