The Wave Essay

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In the following excerpt, Murray faults O'Flaherty for his didactic narrative, arguing that O'Flaherty breaches the oral tradition by "refusing to let his art suggest" important thematic issues, instead weighing down his stories with "contrived symbolism or overstated theme."

The success or failure of Liam O'Flaherty's short fiction actually depends on quite a different phenomenon, one to which Vivian Mercier has made passing reference in a discussion of the stories of Corkery, Lavin, O'Connor, O'Faolain, and O'Flaherty. Although he is a native speaker of Gaelic and "therefore born into the oral tradition," O'Flaherty is the "least oral in his approach to narrative of all five writers." Mercier refers here to the conception of so many of the stories in what he calls "cinematic terms," but the statement has other far-reaching implications. By extension he faults O'Flaherty for failing to remember that the relationship between story teller and...

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This section contains 729 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Wave Study Guide
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