The Dubbalin Man Brendan Behan

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168 pages


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The Dubbalin Man  by  Brendan Behan

The Dubbalin Man by Brendan Behan
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There were three Brendan Behans. There was the Republican, whose activities as a member of the IRA and consequent jailing were the basis for his autobiography Borstal Boy. There was the dramatist, whose plays The Quare Fellow and The Hostage are among the highlights of Irish drama. And there was the anthropologist, observing and recording humankind in the habitat of drinking establishments from Dublin to New York via London, Paris, and many places besides.It was this last role that claimed his life at the early age of 41, his liver running up the white flag after a decades long onslaught.

The results of Behans anthropological studies come largely from this period. Like Dutch Schultz, a dying Behan, perhaps not always consciously, largely dictated books like Confessions of an Irish Rebel and Brendan Behans Island on his death bed and they often read like it. This collection of articles from 1954 to 1956, however, stems from a period before booze ravaged Behans ability to communicate his findings.The most striking feature of these pieces, as Anthony Cronin notes in a perceptive introduction, is how British they are.

Of course, Behan was an occasionally violent Republican, but, as Cronin notes, the Dublin of his youth was only a few years removed from being a British city. These stories are full of veterans and stories of the Crimea, the Boer War, and the First World War. By showing how thoroughly similar even a nationalist Irishmen can be to the average Englishman you are lead to ponder the question- why all the bloodshed?



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