We were delighted to hear this week that I dtír mhilis na mbeo was selected for discussion for ‘Literary review of the week’ on the show ‘Údar cainte’ on Raidió na Gaeltachta. Áine Ní Ghlinn, a poet and writer, leads the analysis on this programme with a focus on literary critique.
I dtír mhilis na mbeo is the first short-story collection written by Colm Ó Ceallacháin. Áine spoke positively about the collection, saying that the stories are all situated in a modern contemporary setting, and that they succeed in portraying themes and characters in a realistic way. She mentioned that the mindset of the people in the stories is easily understandable due to the fact that the events relate to everyday happenings that would be familiar to us all.
She praised the story-telling approach of Ó Ceallacháin too, and mentioned that he creates tension and suspense very effectively. It was clear to her that he has a deep understanding of young people in modern times, and that he has the ability to mold his narration style to suit conflict and disagreement very well.
Áine mentioned one aspect of the collection that particularly interested her: the men and fathers are portrayed in a less than positive way throughout the stories. She said that this is a unique depiction that she thought to be noteworthy.
She emphasized the stylistic variation that Ó Ceallacháin uses, from his first-person narration to his more experimental attempts that can be seen in the stories ‘Fuadach’ and ‘Í’. Both these stories are samples of constrained writing, with Áine mentioning that it’s a breath of fresh air that he isn’t trying to mimic other author’s styles in his writing in Irish.
Áine then went on to describe her favorite story from the collection, ‘I measc mhuilte an mhacnais.’ She said that it is a particularly powerful story with a melancholy shadow over it that uses symbolism very creatively.
Nearing the end of the review she said that I dtír mhilis na mbeo would be suitable for a reader of any age, and that it is easily understandable and readable. She mentioned to would be perfect for a book club or a reading forum because of the food for thought and discussion it provides.
You can listen to the full recording of the review here >>
N.B. The discussion starts at 33:40 of the linked clip!