AN OCCASION OF SIN by John Montague

AN OCCASION OF SIN by John Montague (hier online bestellen)

The story:
Setting: Seacove, a bathing place ten miles south of Dublin, Ireland
Françoise O’Meara is a young French woman recently married to an Irish man. The couple lives in Dublin, where the husband, Kieran, works. Françoise explores Dublin and its environs in the first six months of their marriage; around Easter, she discovers a bathing place on the coast about ten miles south of Dublin near the suburb of Blackrock. Although her husband tells her no one in Ireland goes swimming so early in the spring, Françoise is an independent woman, at ease with herself, and tells him it does not matter what other people do.

Extract from book:
At first it was marvellous being on her own, feeling the icy shock of the water as she plunged in. lt brought back a period of her childhood, spent in Etretat, on the Normandy coast: she had bathed through November, running along the deserted beach afterwards, the water drying on her body in the sharp wind. She doubted if she could do that at Seacove, but she found a corner of the wall which trapped whatever sun there was, and when the rain spat she went into the Martello Tower Cafe and had a bar of chocolate and a cup of tea. Sometimes it was so cold that her skin goose-pimpled, but she loved it all; she felt, she had never been so completely alive.

It was mid-May before anyone joined her along the sea wall. The earliest comer was a small man who unpeeled to show a paunch carpeted with white hair. He waved to her before diving off the pierhead, trundling straight out to sea. When he came back, his face was lobster-red with exertion, and he pummeled himself with a towel. He had surprisingly small, almost dainty feet, she noticed as he danced up and down on the stones blowing a white column of breath into the air. As he left, he always gave her a friendly wink or called : "That beats Banagher!"

She liked him a lot. She didn't feel as much at ease with the others. .....


She did not mention the matter till several hours later, when she was no longer as upset as she had been at the beach. And when she did come round to it, she tried to tell it as lightly as possible hoping to distance it, to see it clearly. But though her husband laughed a little at the beginning, his face became more serious, and she felt her nervousness rising again.

"But what right had he to say that to me?"

Kieran 0'Meara did not answer, but kept turning the pages of the Evening Press.

"Obviously he thought he was doing the right thing."

"But surely you don't think. . ."

His face became a little red. "No, of course not. But I don't deny that in certain circumstances you might be classed as an occasion of sin.

She sat down with a bump in the armchair, a dishcloth in her hand. At first she felt like laughing, but after repeating the phrase "occasion of sin" she no longer found it funny. Did everyone in this country measure things like this? At a party, a few nights before, one of her husband's friends had told her that sex was the worst sin because it was the most pleasant."

Another had gripped her arm crossing the street. "Be careful." But you're in danger too! " she laughed, only to hear his answer: "It's not myself I'm worried about, it's you. I'm in the state of grace." The face of the small fat man swam up before her, full of painful self-righteousness, as he told her she was "giving bad example." What in the name of God was she doing in this benighted place?

"Do you find me an occasion of sin?" she said.

It's different for me," he said seriously. "After all, we're married."

From: An Occasion of Sin - Stories by John Montague, White Pine Press, New York 1992, p. 140+147

About the author:
John Montague is a published poet and the author of two collections of short stories. He has become one of the major Irish poets of the 20th century, continuing to write and publish well into his 70s.

AN OCCASION OF SIN by John Montague
Taschenbuch: 200 Seiten
Verlag: White Pine Press (September 1992)
Sprache: Englisch
ISBN: 1877727210
Preis: € ???? (gebraucht kaufen)

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