“I’m concerned these silences leave a gap in yourself..”

Writer Sebastian Barry is one of the favourites to take the Man Booker prize this year – possibly connected to his previous short-listing. The Guardian’s Saturday Review carried a lengthy interview with him yesterday which included this resonant paragraph.

Barry once began a childhood memoir but soon abandoned it, wary that he might “drain the well from where I draw water”. But he says he has become increasingly “afraid of things that cannot be said. I’m afraid of the damage that is caused by not speaking of people like Roseanne, the unmentioned first wife, like so many families’ old uncle Jacks who died in the first world war fighting for England. I’m concerned these silences leave a gap in yourself which then leaves a gap in your children and can ultimately lead to a hole in the country’s sense of itself. Ireland’s history is so much more rich, exciting, varied and complicated than we had realised. What I’m trying to do is gather in as much as I can. It’s not to accuse, it is just to state that it is so.”

Btw, not being “afraid of things that cannot be said” is also a good guiding principle for consistent, and consistency in, blogging – “It’s not to accuse, it is just to state that it is so.”