Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Miserable Childhood

Tuesday, July 21, 2009
When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.

People everywhere brag and whimper about the woes of their early years, but nothing can compare with the Irish version: the poverty; the shiftless loquacious father; the pious defeated mother moaning by the fire; pompous priests; bullying schoolmasters; the English and the terrible things they did to us for eight hundred long years.
- Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes: A Memoir, 1996


witsandnuts said...

I'm interested to read the book especially after learning that McCourt already passed away. (Trivial reason eh?)

Kayni said...

i saw the movie a few years ago. like Wits, i'll consider reading the book, but after my head stops spinning...lol.

Angeli said...

I can still remember my experience in reading the book. I finished it in one night. :) It was that powerful. To quote from somebody who reviewed the book:

"The power of this memoir is that it makes you believe the claim: that despite the rags and hunger and pain, love and strength do come out of misery--as well as a page-turner of a book. And though the experience it tells of was individual, the point--and the story--is universal." (Vanessa Friedman)

Anonymous said...

I heard about McCourt before he wrote the book.

Here is what one of his former students has to say about him.

"Beyond the practical lessons I learned in Frank McCourt’s class, I’ll always remember him as a model for how to be cynical without being jaded and sarcastic without being inhumane."

Daniel Radosh, author of "Rapture Ready!"

Anonymous said...

I experienced all those emotions that McCourt wrought from every reader of his 'Angela's Ashes'.

Fair dues to you Angeli, being an avid reader anyway; and to have spotted his passing!

And you not even being Irish!!

Just so you may know, here in Limerick where the story is set, some locals have sought to profit by denigrating his efforts, assholes!
McCourt was a truly gifted writer. I can only hope that someday I could do as well. It would be better than winning the lotto!!!!

Thank you Angeli, for recognising his talent by posting it on your blog. Well done you, again and again and again.

Thank you.

Angeli said...

It was my pleasure, Unstranger.

This is my way of mourning for him.

artemis said...

doesn't that ring a bell? well not to all Filipinos now (or they've just forgotten their past) but to the ones who came before us. just remember Fili and Noli books and the stories of indigenous kids (similar to what happened to the native Americans) who were dragged to go to school and be terrorized that they'd go to hell if they do not do as the priest/schoolmasters orders.

what a dark world then, still is now with the unawareness of many.

Anonymous said...

Angela's Ashes and Teacher Man are great books. 'Tis was ok but not comparable to the other two.

d_d_d said...

the book is a gripping one... i liked it in so far as it made you feel emotions albeit not always happy ones... kudos to the late McCourt

mordsith said...

i wonder what happened to the one uttering the quote when he grew up. looks like an interesting book. i'll add it in my to-read list. :)

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