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Frank O'connor Author Biography Essay

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The definitive collection of short stories by a master of the form and one of Ireland’s most celebrated authorsThis indispensable volume contains the best of Frank O’Connor’s short fiction. From ‘;Guests of the Nation’ to ‘;The Mad Lomasneys’ to ‘;First Confession’ to ‘;My Oedipus Complex,’ these tales of Ireland have touched generations of readers the world over and placed O’Connor alongside W. B. Yeats and James Joyce as the greatest of Irish authors.Analyzing a Robert Browning poem, O’Connor once wrote: ‘;Since a whole lifetime must be crowded into a few minutes, those minutes must be carefully chosen indeed and lit by an unearthly glow.’ Each of the sixty-seven stories gathered here achieves the same incredible feat of the imagination, laying bare entire lives and histories within the space of a few pages. Dublin schoolteacher Ned Keating waves good-bye to a charming girl and to any thoughts of returning to his village home in the lyrical and melancholy ‘;Uprooted.’ A boy on an important mission is waylaid by a green-eyed temptress and seeks forgiveness in his mother’s loving arms in ‘;The Man of the House,’ a tale that draws on O’Connor’s own difficult childhood. A series of awkward encounters and humorous misunderstandings perfectly encapsulates the complicated legacy of Irish immigration in ‘;Ghosts,’ the bittersweet account of an American family’s pilgrimage to the land of their forefathers.As a writer, critic, and teacher, O’Connor elevated the short story to astonishing new heights. This career-spanning anthology, epic in scope yet brimming with the small moments and intimate details that earned him a reputation as Ireland’s Chekhov, is a testament to Frank O’Connor’s magnificent storytelling and a true pleasure to read from first page to last.


The most generous one-volume collection ever published of short stories, autobiographical writings,poetry, and essays by the writer Yeats called ‘;Ireland’s Chekhov.’Selected and arranged thematically by Julian Barnes, the rich mix of writings in The Best of Frank O’Connor starts off with his most famous short story, ‘;Guests of the Nation,’ set during the Irish War of Independence; chronicles his childhood with an alcoholic father and protective mother; and traces his literary influences in brilliant essays on Joyce and Yeats. O’Connor’s wonderfully polyphonic tales of family, friendship, and rivalry are set beside those that bring to life forgotten souls on the fringes of society. O’Connor’s writings about Ireland vividly evoke the land he called home, while other stories probe the hardships and rewards of Irish emigration. Finally, we see O’Connor grappling, in both fiction and memoir, with the largest questions of religion and belief.The Best of Frank O’Connor is a literary monument to a truly great writer.(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)From the Hardcover edition.


‘Father,’ I said, feeling I might as well get it over while I had him in a good humour, ‘I had it all arranged to kill my grandmother.’Praised as Ireland’s Chekhov, Frank O’Connor was a modern master of the short story. From an amateur brass band divided by partisanship to English soldiers who befriend their Irish captors, and from a child’s comic confession to the end of a small-town friendship, these four humorous and tragic stories refract universal truths through the prism of 20th-century Ireland.This book contains The Cornet-Player Who Betrayed Ireland, Guests of the Nation, A Story by Maupassant, and First Confession.


The story of the title deals with a little boy named Larry and his feelings towards his father. When his father returns home from World War II, Larry is resentful and jealous of losing his mother’s undivided attention, and finds himself in a constant struggle to win back her affections.

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Frank O Connor

Early life

Raised in Cork. the only child of Minnie O'Connor and Michael O'Donovan, he attended school in the famous North Monastery CBS. O'Connor's early life was marked by his father's alcoholism. debt, and ill-treatment of his mother. O'Connor's childhood was shaped in part by his mother, who supplied much of the family's income because his father was unable to keep steady employment due to his drunkenness.

Irish nationalism

In 1918 O'Connor joined the First Brigade of the Irish Republican Army and served in combat during the Irish War of Independence. He opposed the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 and joined the Anti-Treaty IRA during the Irish Civil War. working in a small propaganda unit in Cork City. He was one of twelve thousand Anti-Treaty combatants who were interned by the government of the new Irish Free State. O'Connor's imprisonment being in Gormanston, County Meath between 1922 and 1923.

Literary career

Following his release, O'Connor took various positions including that of teacher of Irish, theatre director, and librarian. In 1935, O'Connor became a member of the Board of Directors of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, founded by William Butler Yeats and other members of the Irish National Theatre Society. [ 1 ] In 1937, he became managing director of the Abbey. Following Yeats's death in 1939, O'Connor's long-standing conflict with other board members came to a head and he left the Abbey later that year. [ 2 ] In 1950, he accepted invitations to teach in the United States, where many of his short stories had been published in The New Yorker and won great acclaim. [ 3 ]

Frank O'Connor had a stroke while teaching at Stanford University in 1961, and later died from a heart attack in Dublin, Ireland on 10 March 1966. He was buried in Deans Grange Cemetery on 12 March 1966. [ 4 ]

In 1939 O'Connor married Evelyn Bowen ( who had previously been married to the actor Robert Speaight ) : they had two sons and a daughter. They divorced in 1953. O'Connor married secondly Harriet Rich of Baltimore, whom he met while lecturing at Northwestern University. They had one daughter.

O'Connor was perhaps best known for his varied and comprehensive short stories but also for his work as a literary critic, essayist, travel writer, translator and biographer. [ 5 ] He was also a novelist, poet and dramatist. [ 6 ]

From the 1930s to the 1960s he was a prolific writer of short stories, poems, plays, and novellas. His work as an Irish teacher complemented his plethora of translations into English of Irish poetry, including his initially banned translation of Brian Merriman 's Cúirt an Mheán Oíche ("The Midnight Court"). Many of O'Connor's writings were based on his own life experiences — notably his well-known The Man of the House in which he reveals childhood details concerning his early life in County Cork. The Sullivan family in this short story, like his own boyhood family, is lacking a proper father figure. Also, evocative descriptions of the Irish countryside are featured in this bitter-sweet tale. In other stories, his character Larry Delaney, in particular, is reminiscent of events in O'Connor's own life. O'Connor's experiences in the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War are reflected in The Big Fellow. his biography of Irish revolutionary leader Michael Collins. published in 1937, and one of his best-known short stories, Guests of the Nation (1931), published in various forms during O'Connor's lifetime and included in Frank O'Connor — Collected Stories. published in 1981.

O'Connor's early years are recounted in An Only Child. a memoir published in 1961 which has the immediacy of a precocious diary. U.S. President John F. Kennedy remarked anecdotally from An Only Child at the conclusion of his speech at the dedication of the Aerospace Medical Health Center in San Antonio on November 21, 1963: "Frank O'Connor, the Irish writer, tells in one of his books how, as a boy, he and his friends would make their way across the countryside, and when they came to an orchard wall that seemed too high and too doubtful to try and too difficult to permit their voyage to continue, they took off their hats and tossed them over the wall--and then they had no choice but to follow them. This nation has tossed its cap over the wall of space and we have no choice but to follow it." [ 7 ]

O'Connor continued his autobiography through his time with the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, which ended in 1939, in his book, My Father's Son. which was published in 1968, after O'Connor's death.

Frank O'Connor Festival and Prize

Since 2000, The Munster Literature Centre in O'Connor's hometown of Cork has run a festival dedicated to the short story form in O'Connor's name. The longest established annual festival dedicated to the short story form in an English-speaking country, it regularly hosts readings, workshops and masterclasses for contemporary practitioners of the form, as well as celebrating the work of O'Connor and other local short fiction writers such as Elizabeth Bowen, Seán Ó Faoláin and William Trevor. [ 8 ]

The Cork City - Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, is awarded to the best short fiction collection published in English anywhere in the world in the year preceding the festival. The prize is also open to translated works and in the event of a translation winning the prize is divided equally between author and translator. The award is described as "the richest prize for the short story form" and at €35,000 in 2010 is one of the most valuable literary prizes for any category of literature. [ 10 ]

In popular culture

Neil Jordan 's award winning film The Crying Game was inspired in part by O'Connor's short story, Guests of the Nation. The story is set during the Irish War of Independence and chronicles the doomed friendship between the members of an I.R.A. unit and the two British Army hostages whom they are guarding.

Bibliography

Incomplete - to be updated

Short story collections
  • Guests of the Nation (1931), including the famous title story
  • Bones of Contention (1936), including the story "The Majesty of Law", a short story adapted as an episode of the 1957 film The Rising of the Moon .
  • Crab Apple Jelly (1944)
  • The Common Chord (1947)
  • Traveller's Samples (1951), including the classic story "First Confession"
  • The Stories of Frank O'Connor (1952), including the first publication of perhaps his most popular story "My Oedipus Complex "
  • More Stories by Frank O'Connor (1954)
  • Domestic Relations (1957)
  • A Set of Variations (1969)
  • The Cornet Player Who Betrayed Ireland (1981)
  • The Collected Stories (Edited by Richard Ellmann ) (1981)
  • The Collar: Stories of Irish Priests (1993)
  • A Frank O'Connor Reader (1994)
  • the man of the house
  • The Saint and Mary Kate (1932)
  • Dutch Interior (1940)
Autobiography
  • An Only Child (1961)
  • My Father's Son (1968)
Poetry from the Irish
  • The Wild Bird's Nest (1932)
  • Lament for Art O'Leary (1940)
  • The Midnight Court (1945)
  • Kings, Lords, and Commons (1959)
  • The Little Monasteries (1963)
Irish history Travel writing
  • Irish Miles (1947)
  • Leinster, Munster and Connaught (1950)
  • The Road to Stratford, U.S. Title: Shakespeare's Progress (196l)
  • The Mirror in the Roadway: A Study of the Modern Novel (1956)
  • The Lonely Voice: A Study of the Short Story (1962)
  • The Backward Look: A Survey of Irish Literature (1967)
Further reading References External links Categories:
  • Irish writers
  • Abbey Theatre
  • People from Cork (city)
  • Deaths from myocardial infarction
  • Irish memoirists
  • People of the Irish Civil War
  • Irish short story writers
  • Irish Republican Army members (1917–1922)
  • Irish Republican Army members (1922–1969)
  • People from County Cork
  • 1903 births
  • 1966 deaths
  • Burials at Deans Grange Cemetery
  • Irish republicans interned without trial
  • Irish soldiers
  • Translators from Irish

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Frank O'Connor — Michael Francis O’Connor O’Donovan (* 17. September 1903 in Cork; † 10. März 1966 in Dublin) war ein irischer Schriftsteller und Autor bekannter Kurzgeschichten. O’Connor wurde 1903 in eine arme katholische Familie geboren. Die Schule konnte er… … Deutsch Wikipedia

Frank O’Connor — Michael Francis O’Connor O’Donovan (* 17. September 1903 in Cork; † 10. März 1966 in Dublin) war ein irischer Schriftsteller und Autor bekannter Kurzgeschichten. O’Connor wurde 1903 in eine arme katholische Familie geboren. Die Schule konnte er… … Deutsch Wikipedia

Frank O'Connor (disambiguation) — * Frank O Connor (1903 ndash;1966) is an Irish author.Frank O Connor may also refer to:*Frank O Connor (actor) (1897 ndash;1979), American actor and husband of novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand *Frank D. O Connor (1909 ndash;1992), American… … Wikipedia

Frank O'Connor (actor) — Infobox Actor name = Frank O Connor birthdate = birth date|1897|9|22 location = Lorain, Ohio deathdate = death date and age|1979|11|9|1897|9|22 deathplace = New York City, New York spouse = Ayn Rand (1929 1979)Frank O Connor (September 22, 1897… … Wikipedia

Frank O'Connor (baseball player) — Infobox MLB retired name = Frank O COnnor width = caption = position = Pitcher birthdate = Birth date|1868|09|15 deathdate = Death date and age|1913|12|26|1868|09|15 bats = Left throws = Left debutdate = August 3 debutyear = 1893 debutteam =… … Wikipedia

More Stories by Frank O'Connor — is a 1954 short story collection featuring both old and new stories by the Irish writer Frank O Connor.[1] The new stories appearing here in book form for the first time were: Eternal Triangle The Face of Evil Masculine Protest The Sorcerer s… … Wikipedia

O'Connor — O’Connor (gälisch für „Familie des Connor“) ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Basil O’Connor (1892–1972), US amerikanischer Rechtsanwalt Bob O’Connor (1944–2006), US amerikanischer Politiker (BM von Pittsburgh) Bryan Daniel O’Connor (*… … Deutsch Wikipedia

O’Connor — ist ein Familienname. Bedeutung O’Connor stammt aus dem Gälischen und bedeutet „Familie des Connor“. Namensträger Inhaltsverzeichnis A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q … Deutsch Wikipedia

O'Connor — For other uses, see O Connor (disambiguation). Contents 1 List of people with the surname O Connor 1.1 Law and Politics 1.2 … Wikipedia

O'Connor — /oh kon euhr/, n. 1. Frank (Michael Donovan), 1903 66, Irish writer. 2. (Mary) Flannery, 1925 64, U.S. novelist and short story writer. 3. John Joseph, Cardinal, born 1920, U.S. Roman Catholic clergyman: archbishop of New York since 1984. 4.… … Universalium

Frank O Connor s the First Confession Essay - American Literature

Frank O'Connor's the First Confession Essay

Learning plays an essential role in life. We learn something new everyday. In Frank O'Connor's short story "The First Confession", Jackie, the main character, learns a lesson he'll always remember. After Jackie's first confession, he could now be confident that he was not such a sinner, and that Nora, his sister, was wrong. While people focused on Jackie's own wrong doings, they weren't focusing on their own wrong actions. Sometimes people's ignorance can bring them into a whole different reality. Through certain characters and different incidents, O'Connor stresses his theme that people's ignorance can blind them from their own sins.

The main character's sister in the story, Nora, was blinded by her own ignorance. She was very dishonest, but hid it all behind an innocent look and nice smile. Every Friday her grandmother would get pension pay. She would suck up every penny she could from the grandma. She would pick on Jackie for her own entertainment. When it was her turn for confession, she was in and out in a matter of seconds. "Her eyes were lowered, her head was bowed, and her hands were joined very low down on her stomach, and she walked up the aisle to the side altar looking like a saint." (333). All before this confession, Nora was torturing Jackie on the walk in. She was very devious. She went from one personality to another, covering up her evil doings. Her dishonesty was recognized by the priest though. He wasn't fooled by her charm or devious ways. Nora had herself fooled. She was a sinner herself, yet she considered herself a saint. She looked down upon Jackie, and saw him as the sinner. She was truly blinded by her own ignorance of what is right and wrong. According to her beliefs though, she'll be paying fo.


. middle of paper.


. She looks down upon other people, blinded by her own ignorance. She accuses other people of being sinners, when in fact she is the one doing all the sinning. She gets away with a lot of wrong doings and really shouldn't be. Her grandmother sides with her in every incidence. The grandmother looks down on Jackie and thinks he's a bad grandson. She would reward Jackie with a scolding and Nora with pennies. Jackie seemed to be the only character that was not blinded by his ignorance. He feared confession, but it paid off after all. His honesty and loyalty were recognized by the priest. He realized that sometimes people let their ignorance get in the way of what's right and what's wrong. If only more people in society today could be more honest and caring. We wouldn't be caught up in everything that is going on, and we could live our lives in a more peaceful manner.

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