16 Burst results for "Edna O'brien"

"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

The New Yorker: Fiction

03:52 min | 4 months ago

"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

"What it means to be on that farm. And so it seems to me, I read the end of the story as a kind of delay of an inevitability. Because I think that her future is going to involve men pouring bottles of cream into the carcasses of geese. But for now, she's looking at home and thankful to be going back there. Yeah. And she's also learned that even if she goes to the party, she has to share a bed with other people with headaches from alcohol rather than the twins who have earaches. Yeah. It's just more of the same. Right. And the way that she describes the commercial hotels, the dried out hydrangeas in the chamber pot and the keys of the piano being yellow rather than white is somehow quite telling. That's part of what makes it seem more like a flop house than a proper hotel. Right. Coming back to the idea of this is a kind of Cinderella story or a fairytale. There isn't a happy ending. There's no fairytale ending. But there is in a way a sort of moral ending. We come back and we realize actually, you know, in some ways, home is the place that you want to be. At home is where you get the support you need, and you marry, says, you know, if that's what a party is. Who needs it? It's not that the longing for the unknown, as you were saying, is wrong. It's that be careful what you wish for. I suppose. Yeah, and maybe also the party has allowed her to re encounter and perhaps fine tune what her own values are. And moreover, to listen to them and take them seriously, and not be someone who must subject herself to other people's values, presuming that life is better in the village that life is better at the hotel or that life would be better with this guy who is mostly a projection. Yeah, I think at the end is not a fairytale ending. It's slightly wistful, but it's also kind of lovely that she gets to go back home and it's as if innocence is not lost and there is something about that frost on the ground that's highly symbolic of that. That the dung is covered with frost. So it's gone from dung like to pure and sparkling and white. And maybe that's a bit glaringly symbolic for me to point out. But it's useful. And I think it's accurate in the sense that grace comes and goes. And the ability to see it is part of what grace is. And at the end of the story, suddenly she can see it for a moment. It's true. There's a purity to it. Well, thank you so much. Thank you, Deborah..

headaches Deborah
"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

The New Yorker: Fiction

05:47 min | 4 months ago

"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

"Yeah. Something about the rights between the men and the women in the story really interests me in the sense that I think the other girls, Doris ethna and crystal, are more tolerant of this male behavior, like they're more habituated to it than Mary is. She's not habituated to it. And they maybe will become even more habituated to it. This is sort of the world that they swim in. Misses Rogers, herself, seems to have sort of acquired a taste for the male behavior in the story. And in fact, is lovers with mister brogan. And so there is a kind of instance of actual tenderness between men and women, which I find interesting about the story also that misses Rogers, her position and that hotel and the way it's described does have a vague aura of the brothel in the madam about it. Of course, of course. And there's a reason she's inviting girls. That's not just so they can move the furniture. Decoration. And amusement on the part of the men, yeah. Yeah. So she does make some effort to sort of protect them at the end. Even though she won't sleep in the same room as that. Right, and actually that reminds me about an interesting reversal to the Cinderella structure is that the kind of less beautiful, less alluringly simple minded mountainy village girls, unlike the stepsisters and Cinderella, do become more the equals of or sympathetic to Mary near the end of the story. And at least ethna does, because they protect her. And that's an interesting turn, I think, that they're all in a predicament that's shared. An ethno is actually sympathetic to her earlier in the story too when she she likes the dress. And she doesn't want to admit it to Doris. Such a classically tortured dynamic where she can't be nice in front of her friend because the agreed upon collective version of things is that this girl is beneath them and someone that they have a bit of contempt for. Yeah. She was saying before at some point, the story close to the end becomes not so much Mary's story as everyone's story and the story of everyone's foiled yearnings. And we do go into at least long John salmon's mind as he's kind of thinking, why did I go to a party? I could be swimming and doing my illusions and we hear about how crystals never going to get married because it would mean not wearing her curlers and she loves them more and why do you think Anna O'Brien chose to sort of shift into the other characters a little more at the end? I'm not sure what her motivation is, but in terms of its effects as a story, I really feel like it's the great writer who would shift into everyone else's longings and motivations in that scene rather than stick with the sort of injustice of what Mary expects as opposed to what Mary finds..

Doris ethna mister brogan Rogers Mary John salmon Doris Anna O'Brien swimming
"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

The New Yorker: Fiction

03:39 min | 4 months ago

"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

"Yeah. Also, when you brought up the story, you said that your first reading of it, you were drawn to it because of the kind of Cinderella quality of this girl going to the ball and then having her dreams dashed because prince charming does not show up to this ball. But what's interesting to me is that even the prince charming in the story, while he was just a married guy who was playing around with a 15 year old girl, no intention of ever coming back, he told her he couldn't love her because he had a wife. That is exactly right. I almost think it becomes a sort of joke between the author and the reader. And not exactly at Mary's expense, but we can see what she can't. First of all, he's not honorable. He is married. As you say, no intention of coming back. But the other component of that dynamic is that he's got her washing his shirts and acting nursemaid and attending to his sunburn and she's all ready, gleefully engaged in the drudgery of what a wife would be doing for this man. But sees it as part of this avenue for escape that she might have. But I think that that is a kind of tender joke there. Yeah. Why do you think he sends the drawing? You know, I don't know why he sends her the drawing except that it probably pleases him to think of her pining a little bit. And maybe he's proud of his artistic accomplishments, but one interesting thing about the drawing is that when Edna Bryan revised the story and changed the title of it to put into her collection, she changed the drawing from looking like Mary, but prettier to looking like Mary, but uglier. It's an interesting change. I don't know exactly what it means except that the dream of the seduction withers that much sooner. Upon the moment of the drawings arrival, Mary may be conceived better that this person didn't actually see her for who she was. Or didn't see her for whatever she values about her own beauty. Yeah. Interestingly, O'Toole does see her beauty. No tool the most crass of all people who can't be bothered to remember her name. You know, other people might think her hair was ski lish. I think that's the worst. Which I think means sort of slovenly and messy. But he sees the beauty in it. He likes these simple girls. Right, and they're both tall and thin. Yeah. And I think he doesn't know better than to try to pursue her by persistence. He won't have been the first man in the history of the world to adopt this tactic. Yeah. I mean, he's sort of put out that no one wants to have a cuddle with him. You know, he feels it's owed to him. On the other hand, until he gets really drunk and opens all the taps. He doesn't seem malicious to me. He just seems confused as to why there's no response to his advances. What, I don't think that having desire for somebody and using persistence to try to pursue them is necessarily malicious. It might just be a misunderstanding of what they want versus what you want. Of course, the effects of it can be very harmful to people, but that doesn't mean that his intention is to hurt Mary..

Mary Edna Bryan O'Toole
"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

The New Yorker: Fiction

02:26 min | 4 months ago

"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

"She knows it so well she can't see it. She can't see the beauty in it. There's even that moment when she's writing her bicycle and she looks at the frost on the fields and she says, instead of, you know, this beautiful scenery with glittering frost. She says, well, if this keeps going when we're going to have to feed the cattle hay because they can't get the grass. Right. There's almost a refusal of the sensuality of the landscape on her part. At the beginning of the day, at the beginning of the story, and then John Rowland kind of forces her to look at it. I mean, they go and they sit on the bridge overlooking this beautiful Lake that changes colors and suddenly she's changed by that. I suppose. Well, I think she's looking to him as a vehicle for escape. Yeah. And, you know, he's in trans by the landscape and by her, but for her home is something that she needs to leave. And that's just a very natural process of individuation. I've always been interested in literature about that moment when people long to leave the comforts of home. And I think part of what interests me about it is that often people choose kind of treacherous situations over the comforts of home and the story starts out like that. But the end of the story produces a really interesting twist to that format, I think. Because it seems as if Mary, after going to the party and then looking at the landscape once again and seeing her house in the distance, perhaps, although it's ambiguous, perhaps has decided to forestall that process of leaving home. Because what that process means is that the future is going to include necessarily the brutality of men. And not the sort of sweet motorcycle ride. I mean, she brings this bottle of cream to the party. And then by the end of the party, O'Toole opens the cream and pours it into the carcass of the goose and then them sort of spoiling everything and O'Toole opening those tabs and there's a Lake of beer everywhere and then the dogs are drinking it and then them saying that it's possibly Mary's fault for having led this person on, there's no way that she can have gone to that party and had a good time or have come away with it without having done something wrong simply for existing..

John Rowland Mary O'Toole Toole
"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

The New Yorker: Fiction

03:44 min | 4 months ago

"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

"Kushner reading come into the drawing room Doris by Edna O'Brien. The story appeared in The New Yorker in October of 1962, and was included under the title Irish revel, in O'Brien's collection, the love object and other stories in 1968. In 2014, a New Jersey couple with powerful political connections was found dead in their bedroom. I'm Nancy Solomon. For two years, I've been trying to find out what happened to John and Joyce Sheridan. Was there anything on her mind that was bothering her? I know where you're going. But no. Definitely not. True crime and political corruption. Dead end, a New Jersey political murder mystery from WNYC studios. Listen, on Apple podcasts..

Edna O'Brien Kushner Nancy Solomon Doris The New Yorker Brien Joyce Sheridan New Jersey John WNYC studios Apple
"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

The New Yorker: Fiction

03:11 min | 4 months ago

"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

"She left without even making a cup of tea. She wheeled her bicycle down the alley, and into the street, the front tire was dead flat. She pumped for ten minutes, but it remained flat. The frost lay like a spell upon the street upon the sleeping windows and the slate roofs of the crumbling houses. It had magically made the dung street white and clean. She did not feel tired, but was relieved to be out and stunned by lack of sleep and the beauty of the morning. She walked briskly, sometimes looking back to see the track that her bicycle in her feet made on the white road. Misses Rogers wakened at 8 and stumbled out in her big nightgown from brogan's warm bed. She smelled disaster instantly and hurried downstairs to find the Lake of Porter in the bar and the ground hall. Then she ran to call the others, poured her all over the place every drop of drink in the houses on the floor, Mary mother of God helped me in my tribulation, get up, get up. She rapped on their door and called the girls by name. The girls rubbed their sleepy eyes yawned and sat up. She's gone ethnic said, looking at the place on the pillow where Mary's head had been. Oh, a sneaky country one, Doris said, is she got into her taffeta dress and went down to see the flood. If I have to clean that in my good clothes, I'll die, she said. But misses Rogers had already brought brushes and pails and got to work. They opened the bar door and began to bail the Porter into the street. Dogs came to lap it up, and Hickey, who had come down, stood and said what a crying shame it was to waste all that drink. Outside it washed away an area of frost and revealed the dung of yesterday's fair day. O'Toole the culprit had fled, long John salmon was gone for his swim, and upstairs in bed, brogan snuggled down for a last minute heat and deliberated on the joys that he would miss when he left the commercial for good. And where is my lady with the lace dress, Hickey asked, recalling very little of Mary's face, but distinctly remembering the sleeves of her black dress, which dipped into every damn thing. Sneaked off before we were up, Doris said. They all agreed that Mary was no bloody use, and should never have been asked. And twas she set out to a mad egging him on and then disappointing him, Doris said, and misses Rogers swore that O'Toole or Mary's father or someone would pay dear for the wasted drink. I suppose she's home by now, Hickey said, as he rooted in his pocket for a butt. He had a new packet, but if he produced that, they'd all be puffing in his expense. Mary was half a mile from home, sitting on a ditch. If only I had a sweetheart, something to hold on to, she thought, as she cracked some ice with her high heel, and pitied the poor birds who could get no food as the ground was frozen hard. Walking again, she wondered, if she would ever go to another party, and what she would tell her mother and her brothers about it, and of all parties, were as bad. She came over the top of the hill, and suddenly saw her own house, like a little white box at the end of the world..

Mary Lake of Porter Rogers brogan Hickey Doris John salmon Toole O'Toole
"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

The New Yorker: Fiction

03:18 min | 4 months ago

"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

"Ah, the old honey bunch O'Toole said, pushing the door in, the girls exclaimed and asked him to go out at once as they were preparing for bed. Come into the drawing room, Doris, he said to Mary, and curled his forefinger at her. He was drunk, and couldn't focus her properly, but he knew she was standing there somewhere. Go to bed, you're drunk, dorso burn said, and he stood up very upright for an instance, and asked her to speak for herself. Go to bed Michael, you're tired, Mary said to him. She tried to sound calm because he looked so wild. Come into the drawing room I tell you, he said as he caught her wrist and dragged her toward the door. She let out a cry and ethnic duggan said she'd brain him if he didn't leave the girl alone. Give me that flower pot Doris, ethno duggan called, and then Mary began to cry for fear there might be a scene. She hated scenes. Once she had heard her father in a neighbor having a row about boundary rights, and she'd never forgotten it. They had both been a bit drunk after a fair. Are you cracked or are you mad O'Toole said when he perceived that she was crying? I'll give you two seconds ethno Warren, as she held the flower pot high, ready to throw it at O'Toole's Greyhound face. You're a nice bunch of hard faced old crows, he said, wouldn't give a man a squeeze. He went out cursing each one of them. They shut the door very quickly, and dragged the sideboard in front of the door so that he could not break in when they were asleep. They got into bed in their underwear, Mary and ethne one end with crystal's feet between their faces. You have lovely hair, ethno whispered to marry. It was the nicest thing she could think of to say. They each said their prayers and shook hands under the covers and settled down to sleep. Hey, Doris O burns said a few seconds later, I never went to the lab. He can't go now ethnic said, the sideboards in front of the door. I'll die if I don't go, Doris obern said. Ah, me too, after all that orange we drank crystal said. Mary was shocked at home you never spoke of such a thing. They heard feet on the landing, and then the sound of choking and coughing, and later O'Toole cursing and swearing and hitting the wall with his fist. Mary curled down under the clothes, thankful for the company of the girls. I was at a party, now I know what parties are like, Mary said to herself, as she tried to force herself asleep. She heard a sound as of water running, but it did not seem to be raining outside. Later she dozed, but at daybreak she heard the hall door bang, and she sat up in bed abruptly. She had to be home early to milk, so she got up, took her shoes, and her lace dress, and let herself out by dragging the sideboard forward and opening the door slightly. There were newspapers spread on the landing floor, and in the lavatory and a heavy smell pervaded. Downstairs Porter had flowed out of the bar and into the hole. Some one probably O'Toole had turned on the taps of the 5 Porter barrels, and the stone floored bar and sunken passage outside were a Lake of black Porter. Misses Rogers would kill somebody, Mary put on her high heeled shoes, and picked her steps carefully across the room to the door..

Mary Toole duggan Doris Doris O burns Doris obern Michael Warren crystal Porter Rogers
"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

The New Yorker: Fiction

03:19 min | 4 months ago

"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

"Fire ahead, Hickey told him. Well, there were these three lads, Patti to Irish man, patty the English man and patty the Scotsman and they were badly in need of now no smut misses Rogers snapped before he had uttered a wrong word at all. What smut, said O'Toole, getting offended, smut, think of the girls, misses Rogers said. Girls O'Toole sneered as he picked up the bottle of cream, which they'd forgotten to use with the jelly, and poured it into the carcass of the goose. Christ's sake man, Hickey said, taking the bottle of cream out of O'Toole's hand. Misses Rogers said that it was high time everyone went to bed as the party seemed to be over. The guests would spend the night in the commercial. It was too late for them to go home and also misses Rogers did not want them to be observed, staggering out of the house that hour. The police watched her like hawks, she said, and she did not want any trouble until Christmas was over at least. The sleeping arrangements had been decided earlier on. There were three bedrooms, brogan would have the room he always slept in, the other three men were to pitch in together in the second big bedroom, and the girls were to share the back room with misses Rogers herself. Come on, everyone, blanket street, misses Rogers said, as she put a guard in front of the dying fire and took the money from behind the owl. Sugar you, O'Toole said, pouring stout now into the carcass of the goose. Long John salmon wished that he had never come. He thought of daylight and his swim in the mountain river at the back of his gray stone house. A blush, he said aloud taking pleasure in the word, and in the thought of cold water touching him, he could do without people, people were dirty. He remembered catkins on a tree outside his window, catkins in February, as white as snow. Crystal, stir yourself, he said, as he put on her shoe and patted the calves of her legs. Brogan kissed the four girls and saw them across the landing to the bedroom. Mary was glad to escape without O'Toole noticing. He was very obstreperous and Hickey was trying to control him. In the bedroom she sighed, she had forgotten all about the furniture being pitched in there. Wearily they began to unload the things, the room was so crammed that they could hardly move in it. Mary suddenly felt alert and frightened because O'Toole could be heard yelling and singing out on the landing. There had been gin in her orange aid, she knew now, because she breathed closely under the palm of her hand and smelled her own breath. She had broken her confirmation pledge, broken her promise. It would bring her bad luck always. Misses Rogers came in, and said that 5 of them would be too crushed in the bed so that she herself would sleep on the sofa in the parlor for one night. Two of you at the top and two at the bottom, she said, and she warned them not to break any of the ornaments and not to stay talking all night. Night and God bless, she said, as she shut the door behind her. Nice thing, said dorso burn, bunging us all in here, I wonder where she's off to. We alone we curlers, crystal asked, to crystal, hair was the most important thing on earth. She would never get married because you couldn't wear curlers in bed. Ethno duggan said she wouldn't put curlers in now if she got 5 million for doing it, she was jaded. She threw herself down on the quilt and spread her arms out. She was a noisy, sweaty girl, but Mary liked her better than the other two..

Rogers Toole Hickey patty John salmon O'Toole Patti brogan mountain river Mary Brogan dorso Ethno duggan crystal
"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

The New Yorker: Fiction

04:03 min | 4 months ago

"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

"Come into the drawing room, Doris, said O'Toole to marry, who is serving jelly from a big enamel basin. They'd had no nice bowl to put it in. It was red jelly with whipped egg white in it, but it hadn't set properly. She served in saucers and thought what a rough and ready party it was. There wasn't a proper cloth on the table either, just a plastic one, and no napkins, and that big basin with the jelly in it may be people washed in that basin downstairs. Will someone tell us a bloomin joke, said Hickey, who with getting fed up with talk about drawing rooms and flower beds. I'll tell you a joke, said long John salmon, who had been silent up until then. Goods said Rogan, as he sipped from his whisky glass and his stout glass alternately. Is it a funny joke, Hickey asked of long John salmon? It's about my brother said long John salmon, my brother Patrick, oh, no, don't tell us that old rambling thing again, Hickey said it once, and O'Toole not at his own protest. I'll let him tell it, said misses Rogers, who'd never heard the story anyhow, long John salmon began. I had this brother Patrick and he died, the heart wasn't too good. Holy Christ, not this again, said brogan recollecting which story it was. But long John salmon went on undeterred by the size from the three men. One day I was standing in the shed about a month after he was buried, and I saw him coming out of the wall, walking across the yard. Oh, what would you do if you saw a thing like that, Doris said to ethna? Let him tell it, misses Rogers said, go on long John. Well, it was walking toward me and I said to myself, what do I do now? Which was raining heavy and I said to my brother Patrick, stand in out of the wet, or you'll get drenched. And then, said one of the girls anxiously, he vanished, said long John salmon. Oh God, let us have a bit of music, said Hickey, who had heard that story 9 or ten times. They put a record on and no tool asked Mary to dance..

John salmon Hickey O'Toole Doris misses Rogers Patrick Rogan brogan Rogers long John salmon John Mary
"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

The New Yorker: Fiction

05:07 min | 4 months ago

"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

"Is that your brother the bishop, ethno duggan, who knew well that it was, asked misses Rogers concerning the potato faced cleric over the fireplace. Unknown to herself, Mary had traced the letter J on the dust of the picture glass earlier on, and now they all seem to be looking at it, knowing how it came to be there. That's him poor Charlie, misses Rogers said proudly, and was about to elaborate but brogan began to sing. Let the man sing, can't you, O'Toole said, hushing two of the girls who were having a joke about the armchair they shared, the springs were hanging down underneath, and the girls said that at any minute the whole thing would collapse. Mary shivered in her lace dress, and another thing the sleeves were dipping into everything. The room smelled cold and damp, even though Hickey had got up a good fire. There hadn't been a fire in that room since the day de valera signed the autograph book. When brogan finished, O'Toole asked, if any of the ladies would care to sing. There were 5 ladies in all, misses Rogers Mary Doris ethna and crystal o'meara, the local hairdresser, who had a new red rinse in her hair, and who insisted that the food was a little heavy for her. The goose was greasy and undercooked, she did not like its raw pink color. She liked dainty things, little bits of cold chicken with beetroot and sweet pickles. Her real name was Carmel, but when she started up as a hairdresser, she changed to crystal and dyed her brown hair red. I bet you can sing a tool said to marry. Where she comes from, they can hardly talk, Doris said. Mary felt the blood rushing to her cheeks. She would not tell them, but her father's name had been in the paper once, because he had seen a pine marten in the forestry plantation, and they ate with knife and fork at home, and had a plastic cloth on.

misses Rogers brogan Mary duggan Toole Rogers Mary Doris ethna meara Rogers de valera Charlie Hickey O'Toole Carmel Doris
"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

The New Yorker: Fiction

04:36 min | 4 months ago

"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

"Of good that is, her mother, who had been expecting a gold bracelet or a brooch said, that wouldn't take you far. They hung it on a nail in the kitchen for a while, and then one day it fell down and some one probably her mother used it to sweep dust onto. Ever since it was used for that purpose, Mary had wanted to treasure it to put it away in a trunk forever, but she was ashamed to. They were hard people, and it was only when someone died that they could give in to sentiment or crying. Sweet Mary, he had said, he never wrote, two summers passed, devil's poker's flowered for two seasons, thistle seed blue white in the harsh mountain wind, and the trees and the forestry plantation were a foot higher. She had a feeling that he would come back sometime and annoying fear that he might not. Oh, it ain't gonna rain no more no more. It ain't gonna rain no more. How in hell can the old folks tell it ain't gonna rain no more? So sang brogan, whose party it was, in the upstairs room of the commercial hotel. I'm buttoning his Brown waistcoat, he sat back and said what it finds spread it was. They had carried the goose up on a platter and laid in the center of the mahogany table with potato stuffing swelling out of it. There were sausages also, and polished glasses standing rimmed downward and plates and forks for everyone. A fork supper was how misses Rogers described it. She had read about it in the paper, it was all the rage now and posh houses in Dublin, this fork separate where you stood up for your food and ate with a fork only. Mary had brought knives in case anyone got into difficulties. Tis America at home, Hickey said, putting turf on the smoking fire. The pub door was bolted down stairs, the shutters across is the 8 guests upstairs watched misses Rogers carve the goose, and then tear the loose pieces away with her fingers. Every so often she wiped her fingers on a tea towel. Here you are, Mary, give this to mister brogan as he's the guest of honor. Mister brogan got a lot of breast and some crispy skin as well. Don't forget the sausages, Mary, misses Rogers said..

Sweet Mary sang brogan Mary Rogers Brown Dublin Hickey mister brogan America Mister brogan
"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

The New Yorker: Fiction

04:57 min | 4 months ago

"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

"A party, she'd have been as well off at home. At least it was clean dirt, attending to calves and pigs and the like. Doris and ethno amused themselves hitting notes on the piano at random and wandering from one mirror to the next. There were two mirrors in the parlor, and on one side of the folding fire screen was a blotchy mirror, too. The other two sides were of water lilies painted on black cloth, but, like everything else in the room, the screen was old and dismal. What's that, Doris and ethna asked each other as they heard a hullabaloo downstairs. They rushed out and Mary followed. Over the banisters they saw that a young Bullock had got in the whole door, and was slithering over the tiled floor, trying to find his way out again. Don't excite him, don't excite him I tell you the toothless old man was saying to the young boys trying to drive the black Bullock out. When misses Rogers came into the hall and dropped a glass of Porter, the beast backed out the way he'd become, shaking his head from side to side. Ethna and Doris clasped each other and laughter, and then doors drew back so that none of the boys would see her in her curling pins and call her names. Mary had gone back to the room downcast, wearily, she pushed the chairs against the wall and swept the linoleum floor where they were to dance. She had fallen in there, ethnic duggan told her friend Doris. They had locked themselves into the bathroom with a bottle of cider. God, she's a right looking engine in the dress door as said, and the length of it. It's her mother's ethnic said. She had admired the dress before that, when Doris was out of the room, and had asked Mary, where she bought it. What she crying about, Doris wondered aloud? She thought some lad would be here. Do you remember that Ladd stayed here the summer before last and had a motorcycle? He was a Jew Doris said, as if that explained everything. God, she'd shake him in that dress. He thinks she was a scarecrow. She tightened a curling pin that had come loose and said, her hair isn't natural either. You can see its curled. I hate that kind of black hair. It's like a gypsies, ethnic said, drinking the last of the cider. They hid the bottle under the scarred bath. Have a caution Dora said, take the smell of your breath. She hot on the bathroom mirror and wondered if she could get off with that fellow O'Toole from the slate quarry who was coming to the party. In the front room, Mary polished glasses, once more the tears ran down her cheeks, so that she did not put on the light. She foresaw how the party would be. They would all stand around and consume the goose, which was now simmering in the turf range. The men would be drunk, the girls silly, having eaten, they would dance and sing until ghost stories, and in the morning she would have to get up early and be home in time to milk. She moved toward the dark pane of window with a glass in her hand, and looked out at the dirtied streets, remembering how once she had danced with John on the upper road to no music at all, just their hearts beating, and the sound of happiness. He had come into their house for tea that summer's day, and on her father's suggestion he lodged with them for four days, helping with the hay and oiling farm machinery..

Doris ethna Bullock Mary Ethna duggan Porter Rogers Ladd drew O'Toole Dora John
"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

The New Yorker: Fiction

05:55 min | 4 months ago

"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

"Door clicked, and in terror she ran up the alley by the side of the shop, afraid it might be someone who knew her father, and would say he had seen her going in through the public bar. She wheeled her bicycle into a shed and approached the back door. It was open, but being a mountainy girl, she did not enter without knocking. Two town girls rushed to answer her knock. One was Doris auburn, the daughter of the harness maker. She was the only Doris in the whole village, and she was distinguished for that, as well as for the fact that one of her eyes was blue and the other a dark brown. She was learning shorthand and typing at the local technical school, and she meant to be a secretary to some famous man or other in the government up in Dublin. God, I thought it was someone important, she said, when she saw Mary standing there, blushing, pretty, and with a bottle of cream in her hand. Another girl, girls were to a penny in that neighborhood. People said that it had something to do with the lime water that so many girls were born, girls like Mary, with pink skins, long wavy hair, and neat figures. Come in or stay out, said ethno duggan, the second girl. It was supposed to be a joke, but neither of them liked the look of Mary. They hated sly ones from the mountain. Mary came in. She put the cream on the dresser and took off her coat. The girl's nudged each other when they saw her dress. In the kitchen was a distinct smell of cow dung and fried onions. Where's misses Rogers, Mary asked? Serving Doris said in a saucy voice as if any fool ought to know. Two old men sat at the table eating. I can't chew, I have no teeth one of the men said to Doris, tis like leather, he said, holding the plate of burned steak toward her. He had pale blue eyes and he blinked childishly. Was it true, Mary wondered that eyes got paler with age like bluebells and a jar? Tis good for you chewing is ethno duggan said, teasing him? She endorsed began to giggle. Ethno duggan laughed so much that she had to put a dishcloth over her mouth. Mary went through to the shop. Misses Rogers came from the counter for a moment to speak to her. Mary, I'm glad you came. That pair in there are no use at all. Always giggling. Now, first thing we have to do is get the parlor upstairs straightened out. Everything has to come out of it except the piano. We're going to have dancing and everything tonight. Mary realized that she was being given work to do, and she blushed with shock and disappointment. Pitch everything into the back bedroom, the whole shooting lot, misses Rogers was saying, as Mary thought of her good lace dress, of how her mother wouldn't even let her wear it to mass on Sundays. And we have to stuff a goose, too, and get it started, misses Rogers said, and went on to explain that the party was in honor of mister brogan, the local customs and excise officer, who was retiring because his wife had won some money in the sweep..

Mary Doris auburn Doris ethno duggan Rogers Ethno duggan Dublin duggan mister brogan
"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

The New Yorker: Fiction

03:11 min | 4 months ago

"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

"He had taken a wrong turning. What a remarkable landscape, he said, looking round. Hills and narrow cornfields descended steeply toward the water. The color of the hills was sharpened by the fine, hard blue of limestone boulders, and the small cornfields were bleaching already in midsummer. The ditches were ragged, the garden over ground with foxglove and smells and thistles, the milk sour 5 hours after it had been put in the tanker. She had no interest in views herself, so she just looked up at the high blue sky and saw that a hawk had halted in the air above them. It was like a pause in her life, the hawk above them perfectly still. But just then her mother came out to see who the stranger was. He took off his helmet and said hello to her mother very courteously. He introduced himself as John Rowland, an English painter who lived in Italy. Mary did not remember exactly how it happened, but after a while, he walked into the kitchen with them, and sat down to tea. Two years since, but she had never given up hoping that she would see him again, perhaps this evening. The postman had said that some one special in the commercial hotel expected her. She felt happiness such as she had not known for years, so that she spoke to her bicycle, and it seemed to her that her happiness somehow glowed in the pearly Ness of the cold evening sky. In the white fields turning blue in the dusk, in the cottage windows she passed. Her mother and father were rich and happy, the twin had no earache, and the kitchen fire did not smoke. Now and then she smiled at the thought of how she would appear to him, taller, and with breasts now and a black lace dress, the sleeves of which roughed out into wide frills as they fell over her wrists. She forgot about the rotted tire, mounted, and cycled quickly down the hill. The 5 street lights were on when she pedaled into the village. There had been a cattle fair that day, and the Main Street was covered with dung. The townspeople had their windows protected against the animals with wooden half shutters and makeshift arrangements of planks and barrels. Some were out scrubbing their own pieces of foot path with bucket and brush. There were cattle wandering around mooing the way cattle do when they're in a strange street, and drunken farmers with sticks trying to identify their own. When she came to the shop window of the commercial hotel, Mary heard loud conversation and men singing. The window was frosted glass so she could not identify any of them, she could just see their heads moving about inside. It was a shabby hotel. The yellow washed walls needed a coat of paint, they hadn't been done since the time de valera came to the village during the election campaign 5 years before. De valera had gone upstairs and sat in the parlor, and written his name with a penny pen in an autographed book, and sympathized with misses Rogers on the recent death of her husband. Mary thought of resting her bicycle against the Porter barrels under the shop window and then climbing the three stone steps that led to the hall door, but suddenly the latch of the shop.

John Rowland Mary Italy De valera Rogers Porter
"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

The New Yorker: Fiction

02:53 min | 4 months ago

"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

"The postman brought word that misses Rogers wanted her down that evening without fail. She was to stay over night. At first her mother did not wish Mary to go, there was too much to be done, gruel to be made, and one of the twins had earache and was likely to cry in the night. Mary slept with the year old twins, and sometimes she was afraid that she might lie on them or smother them, the bed was so small. She begged her mother to be let go. What use would it be her mother said? To her mother, all outings were useless, unsettling, they gave you a taste of something you couldn't have. But finally her mother gave in, mainly, because misses Rogers, as owner of the commercial hotel, was an important woman, and also she had a brother who was a bishop in Australia. You can go so long as you're back in time for the milking in the morning, and mind you don't lose your head and do anything flighty. Her mother warned. Then Mary plated her dark hair, and later, when she combed it, it fell in crinkly waves over her shoulders. She was allowed to wear the black lace dress that had come from America years ago and belonged to no one in particular. Her mother gave her a bottle of cream to take to misses Rogers, sprinkled her with holy water, conveyed her to the top of the lane, and warned her again, never to touch alcohol. Mary felt happy as she rode along slowly, avoiding the loose stones and potholes which were thinly iced over. The frosted fields glistened white in the weak sunshine. If it went on like this for days the cattle would have to be brought into the shed and given hay. The road turned and curled and rose, she turned and curled with it, climbing little hills and descending again toward the next hill. At the descent of the big hill she got off the bicycle, the brakes were unreliable, and looked back out of habit at her own house. It was the only house there on the side of the mountain, small and whitewashed with a few scraggy trees around it, and a patch at the back that you could hardly call a garden. There was a rhubarb bed and shrubs over which they emptied tea leaves, and a stretch of grass where they kept a chicken run in the summer, moving it from one patch to the next every other day. She looked away, walked on and settled down to think of John Roland. Two years before, he had come to their district riding a motorcycle scattering dust on her hair and the milk cloths she had put out to dry, and stopped to ask the way. He was staying in the commercial hotel down in the village, and had come up to see the mountain Lake, which was famous for its colors. It changed color with the changing sky. It would be blue and ice green and vicious black, all within an hour. At sunset it was often a strange burgundy, not like a Lake at all, but like wine. Tis down there, she said to the stranger, pointing to the Lake below with a small island in the middle of it..

Mary Rogers gruel Australia John Roland America mountain Lake
"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

The New Yorker: Fiction

05:34 min | 4 months ago

"edna obrien" Discussed on The New Yorker: Fiction

"This month we're going to hear come into the drawing room Doris by Edna O'Brien, which was published in The New Yorker in October of 1962. Although she was 17, this was her first party, the invitation had come only that morning from misses Rogers of the commercial hotel. The postman brought word that misses Rogers wanted her down that evening without fail. The story was chosen by Rachel Kushner, who's the author of three novels, and most recently the essay collection, the hard crowd, which was published last year. Hi, Rachel. Hi Debra. Welcome. Thank you. You were very keen to read a story by a no, Brian on the podcast, why is that? Well, I started looking back at our history with the magazine and Edna O'Brien has published 39 stories in The New Yorker if the index I found online that is not officially sanctioned by The New Yorker is correct. And that is just it's a lot of stories and there's a lot of range there and I had first come to them through her collected works, the love object, which was published in 2013. And I thought, oh, I'll introduce myself. Not having read all of miss O'Brien's stories previously, I'll introduce myself to them with a collection. And then I started reading from The New Yorker archive, and I realized that she had made some really interesting changes between publishing them in The New Yorker and republishing them and her collection. And something about that made the whole undertaking of a study of her work really appealing, just the seriousness of the project and thinking about how writers make decisions over time and how their relationship to their own work and even sentence by sentence might change. For instance, this story, it's the first story that opens the collection, and it's her first story that was in The New Yorker. Was called in the collection, not coming to the drawing room, Doris, but Irish revel. As you said, this was the first story that Ed no Brian published in the magazine. She was, I think, 31 at the time, and it was not long. It was two years after her first novel had come out. Do you think it has all the hallmarks of the writer she became? Yes, very much so. I would say, I mean, one of the things I really like about Edna Bryant's sensibility is her ability to recapture innocence without sentimentalizing what happens to people once the scales fall from their eyes. She goes through those paces somehow treating her character with utmost precision and sympathy for what it means to have a dream. And then to have that dream be shattered. And I think that those are the hallmarks of a writer who's really in control of her craft. I noticed.

The New Yorker Edna O'Brien Rachel Kushner Rogers Doris Debra Brian Brien Rachel Irish revel Edna Bryant Ed