Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Kevin Barry: Narrator in City of Bohane?

I have the photo above from Sheila Langan's article "Young Irish Writers Part 1: Kevin Barry" (Irish Central, Friday, January 21, 2011), and it's worth a quick read, but what I want to talk about is something else. A couple of days ago, I asked about the narrator of, and in, Kevin Barry's novel, City of Bohane -- is he an older Barry, I asked. Well, I have some ambiguous evidence about that in the narrator's remarks upon overhearing the shrieks of solidarity between the whores of Northside and Trace:
I could hear them from the back room of the Ancient and Historical Bohane Film Society as I sat late and drank exquisite Portuguese wine direct from the neck of the bottle, and you may trust, as ever, that I made careful notes.

Beyond the shrieks, the river carried as ever from Big Nothin' its black throbbing.

Oh and heed this, my fiends, my tushies, my gullible children:

There was nothing good coming in off that river.

In addressing his fiends, tushies, and children, I don't think he's speaking directly to us readers. But let's keep our ears wide open.

What? You say you're not actually reading City of Bohane? You therefore can't keep your ears open? Unheard of!

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