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Subject: Re: Young readers

Jon Heaney
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Date Posted: Wed, Aug 31 2005, 0:45:57 GMT
In reply to: Jamie O'Neill 's message, "Re: Young readers" on Fri, Aug 19 2005, 4:01:55 GMT

>Dear Frankie, it's such wonderful irony that you
>should have got At Swim with book tokens for being
>best-at-class at Religious Studies. Well done. I
>remember Religious Studies at my school. It was a time
>for dozing between 12 and 12.30 -- until some young
>Brother came in (yes, I went to Presentation College
>in Glasthule, same like Jim in the book) and he more
>or less turned it into a civics lesson, with questions
>fired out all ways. The upshot was, no more dozing,
>till the young Brother himself was fired away, and we
>were sleepily back to normal.
>I guess I get emails from readers of all ages, but of
>course I would only know the age if I was told. A
>particularly memorable email came back in 2002, just
>after At Swim was published, from a 16 year old in
>Ireland. Well, two years later he was in Trinity
>College Dublin (the same university Oscar Wilde
>attended), he had joined the GaySoc there and didn't
>he have the audacity to invite me to come and read to
>them. That's growing up for you, too fast. But I had a
>great evening there with Senator Norris (our famous
>humanitarian politician -- well famous for us), and it
>was a pleasure to think there was already a history
>with the reading of At Swim. A pleasure and a
>You mention some personal stuff, and I'm not to be
>giving advice to people, but there was a wonderful
>French film about a boy falling in love with another
>boy (I forget its name, I'm sorry) -- but what struck
>me was that he didn't tell anybody anything until he
>had fallen in love. So that when he came to tell
>people (family and friends) he didn't say I'm gay, or
>I think I'm gay, or whatever -- he just said, This is
>my boyfriend, and I love him. Aesthetically that was
>nice; but practically it meant all the attention was
>focussed on the new person, and the boy had space to
>watch and witness. The onus of explanation was not
>solely on himself.
>Uncle Jamie is taking his Uncle Jamie's hat off now,
>and he's just going to say that in Ireland Irish
>lessons mean Irish (that is Gaelic -- but we rarely
>use that word here.) English means Shakespeare and
>Dickens, the same as in England, but without the Bible.
>Oh, and Jim and Doyler are still out there, you know.
>It's sometimes hard to find them in this modern world,
>Dear Frankie, Just read your note, and Jamie's wonderful reply. Let me assure There are still Doylers and Jims out there. Rememeber to hang on to your values, and your beliefs that one day you too will travel in the midst of such great individuals. The one wonderful thing about our society today is we no longer have to hide our sexuality as they did in 1916.
I speak as a 58 yr old guy, who has been in a wonderful relationship for 24 years with my own Jim/Doyler romantic, and giving in every way. We have since reading ASTB refer to one another as "Pal of me Heart"It is truly one of the most loving books I have read. So hang in there Frankie,and keep the good thought.You too will meet your Doyler

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[> [> Subject: Re: Young readers

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Date Posted: Thu, Feb 23 2006, 22:04:59 GMT

But they're there, on
>sportsfields, in music class, feeling their unsure
>way, falling in love, at swim.

That line just made me so happy! Thank you!

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