123jpDonleavy1950s

Is still alive which is positively unbelievable considering that legendary Irish predilection for drink and the fact that his literary contemporary, Brendan Behan died at the rather irresponsible young age of 41 – of that same Irish malady – way back in ’64.

His ‘The Ginger Man’ is one of the greatest novels of the 20th century. It was published in 1955 and its main character, Sebastian Dangerfield set what must be the all time high bar for misbehavior. In fact, almost 60 years on and Sebastian still ranks up with the very worst of literary miscreants. And the story as I remember it had me positively screaming out loud with laughter at behavior that can only best be described as cringe worthy of the most despicable kind.

And this, his first novel, should give hope to all us wannabe published writers.

It makes me very happy to discover that J. P. Donleavy escaped, while so many who lived that life died. And somehow I feel that rogue, Sebastian lives on too. This is something I need to celebrate.

Quandary: re-read the novel or wander down to the pub, get drunk, and start a fight…

PS –  This photo mirrors his debauched literary character, doesn’t it?

 

 

 

 

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