By Ryan Quinn Flanagan

I got to be honest.  I never liked Yeats. An Irishman who doesn’t

dig Yeats, what sacrilege!  Well, a Canadian-Irishman anyways.

And maybe it is that geographical distance which allows for

a more honest literary distance as well.  Yeats always seemed

so sad to me; the eternal victim covering himself in sand so he

could decry the everlasting injustice of public beaches.  

I much prefer Joyce: unwanted comedian ex-pat.  The only

joker in the deck.  Using real people and places and their real names

and writing with a cutting barroom humour that so often escapes

the lumbering oppressive dread of the Irish experience.  

I remember sitting up in bed with The Dubliners thinking of people

I knew and replacing the ones in the book with them.  How I laughed

when I read those words.  It was the best I had felt in years.

Better than any drug.  Because it offered a chance and a truth

and no conqueror anywhere.

Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many bears that rifle through his garbage.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, The Academy of the Heart and Mind, Setu, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

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