Liam O’Flaherty’s infamous three-act tragedy, Darkness (1926), here receives its worldwide release for the first time. Set on an Irish-speaking island, this bleak tragedy, performed on the Abbey Theatre stage in 1926, centres on two brothers competing for the same woman whose choices have disastrous consequences for all involved. As with all of O’Flaherty’s great works from the 1920s and 1930s—Thy Neighbour’s Wife (1923); The Black Soul (1924); The Informer (1925); The Assassin (1928); Skerret (1932); Shame the Devil (1934); and Famine (1937)—Darkness challenged social, cultural and moral conventions and presented a searing critique of social life in the Irish Free State’s initial years. Rejected by An Gum for publication in Irish, it appeared in obscure literary journals with limited print runs in England in the 1920s and in murky pornographic magazines in the United States in the 1950s. This scholarly edition, which includes the text, contemporary reviews, photos and illustrations, and a substantial critical introduction by Brian Ó Conchubhair, finally makes this important text widely available for the first time. It provides an essential insight into O’Flaherty’s most creative and productive period and is a significant addition to the existing body of literary and critical work on this major author. The original Irish language version, Dorchadas, received its historic first publication by Arlen House in 2012.
Liam O'Flaherty (1896-1984) is the author of several novels and short shories including The Black Soul and The Informer.
Brian Ó Conchubhair is associate professor of Irish language at the University of Notre Dame.
Distributed for Arlen House
5.5 x 8.5, 152 pages, 10 color, 26 black and white illustrations