The Dregs of the Day Máirtín Ó Cadhain, Alan Titley

Series:
The Margellos World Republic of Letters
Format:
Paperback
Publication date:
26 Nov 2019
ISBN:
9780300242775
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
160 pages: 197 x 127 x 12mm

A riveting English translation the Irish classic tale of heartache, death, and loneliness by the beloved author of The Dirty Dust

The final published work by the renowned Máirtín Ó Cadhain, this novella follows a widower as he attempts to plan his wife’s funeral arrangements without money, direction, or whiskey. Thrown into a desert of unknowing, he knows not where to turn or what to do. In a poignant meditation on regret, possibilities, maybes, and avoidances, the author portrays a man hopelessly watching as the people in the world go about their lives around him. With black humor sprinkled throughout, the book, a profound look at psychic loss and puzzlement by a writer at the height of his powers, illustrates Ó Cadhain’s conviction that tragedy and comedy are inextricably connected.
 
Bringing this work to an English-speaking audience for the first time, this volume includes an illuminating introduction by Alan Titley, whose skillful translation captures the spirit and tone of the original.

Máirtín Ó Cadhain (1906–1970) is considered one of the most significant writers in the Irish language. Alan Titley is a novelist, playwright, and scholar. He lives in Dublin and writes for The Irish Times on cultural matters.

"Titley renders the tirades and flytings with the exact ear for dialogue which has characterised his own novels… here at last is a version done by a scholar who is also an artist."—Declan Kiberd, TLS


Cré na Cille is a work of daring imagination, filled with sly comedy. Using the voices of the dead, it dramatises the battle between life and death, time and infinity, the individual and the community. It is filled with gossip and banter, all the more lively because the voices live underground. It is the greatest novel to be written in the Irish language, and is among the best books to come out of Ireland in the twentieth century.”—Colm Tóibín


Cré na CilleThe Dirty Dust is a brilliant title—is a modern masterpiece that has remained locked away from non–Irish speakers for too long. Alan Titley was just the man to put it into English, and I welcome this wonderfully vivid and vigorous translation.”—John Banville, author of The Sea and Ancient Light
 


“Alan Titley’s translation has the idiomatic speed and eagerness of the original. It has a composer’s grasp of tempo and of thematic signature. It is finally through it that we begin to see the nature of O Cadháin’s achievement. Now, with Titley’s wonderful translation, the great novel lives again.”— Seamus Deane, author of Reading in the Dark and editor of The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing

 


"In 1949 Dirty Dust shook the dust from the Irish-language novel’s feet and revealed graveyard corpses distracted by local jealousies and petty disputes assuming global importance. Sounding the death-knell of pastoral romances, this modernist Irish masterpiece is hilariously funny yet scathingly honest. Titley’s audacious adaptation offers the most popular and influential twentieth-century Irish-language novel in translation.”—Brian (Breen) Ó Conchubhair, University of Notre Dame