Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Coast of Leitrim By Kevin Barry Review


The short story 'The Coast of Leitrim' by Irish writer Kevin Barry was published this year in the magazine 'The New Yorker'. The story is about the loneliness of individuals and love, about personal phobias and social issues.


The main character is a man, Seamus Ferris, who lived alone in the cottage which he inherited after his uncle passed away. He decided that he had fallen in love with a Polish girl, Katherine, who worked at a café in the town. It was very difficult for him to start a conversation with her, he didn't dare to speak with her. Instead, he found out her name and made some inquiries about her on the Internet. He found her Instagram account and saw the pictures she posted there. In his imagination, he saw himself with his passion and love as Don Quixote from the classic novel of Cervantes. She would be definitely a sensitive and nice person, he thought.


Once he started a conversation. “Do you want to go out with me sometime?”, he said. “That will be fine,” she replied. “When is this happening?”. They drove to his cottage, she stayed with him for a night and they started to live together.


During the time when they were together, Seamus went through many phobias related to the relationships between men and women. He became fixated in thoughts and deeds on the negative. Giving freedom his imagination, he listed his flaws, real and invented. He focused on the excessively thick hair on her knees and he pretended that he liked it and so on.


The tone of the narration in the story is monotonous and the narration had a distance to it. in turn the tone and narration can be said to reflect the place where the events happen and the title, 'The Coast of Leitrim'. He suggested to stop their relationships, she left him and came back to Poland, he moved to Poland and found her ... These are a sequel of actions which happened in the story.


It is not a love story, it is rather the story about two lonely people who go with the stream along the Coast of Leitrim…


Here is the link to the story: