Tuesday, April 29, 2008


From the introduction to a book of Irish short stories - intro written by Anthony Burgess

"One of [Freud's] followers split up human psychology into two categories - Irish and non-Irish. The Irish, like the Neopolitans, are not sure what truth is, and they have a system of logic which defies logic. They have something in common with Chekhov's Russians, and it is no accident that many of the stories here will seem Chekhovian. I was taking a bath in a Leningrad hotel when the floor concierge yelled that she had a cable for me. 'Put it under the door,' I cried. 'I can't,' she shouted. 'It's on a tray.' There is a deep logic, or epistemology, there which is far from absurd. The Irish and the Russians have one way of looking at entities (the entity in this instance was a cable-on-a-tray) and the rest of the world another."

There is a sense that Freud had, too, that the Irish, when in psychic trouble, go to poetry, go to storytelling, go to escapism - they have no interest in picking apart their own brains.


Anonymous said...

How can I send John a letter?

jt/kc said...

you can send him a letter at

John Tyson #511885
Oshkosh Correctional Institution
P O Box 3310
Oshkosh WI 54903

Anonymous said...

Thank you.