An exclusive new story by Eimear McBride, winner of the inaugural Goldsmiths Awardby Eimear McBride / April 24, 2014 / Leave a comment
© Yann Kebbi
Describing this story, Eimear McBride says: “In the original ‘Ivy Day…,’ James Joyce rolls an eye over the pitiable legacy of cynicism bestowed on the Irish political classes by their betrayal of Parnell [who led the fight for Irish Home Rule in the 1880s]. When asked to revisit the story, for the Dubliners centenary anthology, I couldn’t help thinking how lucky those old boys were for at least realising things should be better. How much more depressing in our time, to recognise that an enthusiastic belief in what turned out to be nothing has tumbled into the sea? The rest is a game with Joyce’s original language, which is just a bit of cheek.”
Lately they came in from night, lustrous as dead dogs on the turn. As fat with air and cinder-eyed. Jack, alone, bony in the injudicious light of a long unserviced flame. Patched pimply since life’s handiwork undid, Mr O’Connor rolls himself a cigarette, makes a cylinder of some lot’s gawdy pamphlet, lights, and sets it all a go.
-Did she say when Tierney’d be back?
-She did not.
Leg stretched and meditative O’Connor follows
-How’s your young fella?
-A boosing bollocks, like the rest of them these days.
-The young have no decency anymore and can’t have a finger laid on them.
– I tell you, if I was my father, he’d be booted from here to kingdom come. I wouldn’t mind but he and that mother never wanted for a thing.
-What age now?
-Just the nineteen.
-Risky enough age these days…
-Worser in our time.
-Speak for yourself. At least then it was ferries instead of the graves and this one doesn’t look like going away.
-Not any time soon, Jack concedes Is it me or is this shower the uselessest yet?
O’Connor havers, then gives the fake coals a belt.
-Come on you pup! So… will you be out the twenty-seventh?
-My canvasing days are done.
-I never thought I’d hear you say that.
-Me neither but they have us all strapped and mashed and I’ll be damned if I’ll wave a flag too.
-God, do you remember that night?
-I do and don’t expect to see its like replicated any time soon.
Steadfast in this Jack resettles…