Remembering Frank Delaney's 'Irish Gift Of Gab'

Feb 25, 2017
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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Frank Delaney made you realize the Irish gift of gab is really a force of nature, the contrivance to survive bleak skies, raw weather, imperialism, hunger and bloody history with the music and the might of words. Frank told us when his book "Ireland" came out in 2005...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

FRANK DELANEY: It is a place that is a symbol of David versus Goliath. It is the tiny country that won, that won its independence from a great world empire. It is a place where story is really all that matters. Truth is whatever you want it to be. Possibility is everything.

SIMON: He was a writer, broadcaster, best-selling novelist, critic, raconteur and Joyce scholar. And we kept asking back to talk about books, Ireland and even soccer because no one could make more of a ceremony out of a sentence. Our families became friends, and we got to know Frank's warmth and wit across dinner tables, too.

He was in the middle of a 25-year commitment to reread and illuminate James Joyce's "Ulysses" line by line in a weekly podcast called "Re: Joyce" when he died this week at the age of 74. We will keep reading with Frank Delaney's voice in our head. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.