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Bard on the Wire

Will his intense interior life prove his salvation or the pathway to craziness? I devoured Zink's gritty prose in an afternoon.

Having spent much time in Charleston and South Carolina, I found his descriptions perfectly pitched, from the Gullah weavers along the side of the road, to the late night shrimpers, and the fishermen whiling away hours with stories. Raised in a Midwestern factory town, I found his depictions of the working poor equally convincing and evocative.

Lorne's is not an easy world, filled with moments of terrible physical and psychic turmoil.

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His story is redeemed by glimpses of beauty and the hope of a troubled romantic. William Zink's latest novel, Ballad of the Confessor, offers a powerful, sometimes gritty, sometimes poetic view of the often overlooked American working class. Set in the heat of Charleston, SC, among the guarded, trapped, struggling lives of landscape laborers, the book simmers as Zink reveals his almost nameless protagonist's life through a series of elliptical encounters, trials, and frustrations.

It's a novel fraught with intensity and emotional weight: Zink's characters struggle to make their lives better despite the cycle of their own bad decisions, as well as the economic and social decks that are stacked against them.

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The strain caused by his entrapment pushes Lorne toward fits of despair and excruciating loneliness. His only refuge is his free-wheeling, somewhat depraved imagination-he fantasizes instead of imploding. Whether cruising the beaches on the back of his friend's motorcycle or confiding in his only true friend, Reggie, as they discuss life's unpredictable hand, Lorne clings to a belief in his own survival. Product Details.

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Average Review. Write a Review. Previous to the Trial, Father Tirry, at least, had a private room for some time in the Marshal's house, where he could receive people who came to see him-a facility which he, and the other priests also, seemed to have enjoyed later. These rooms may, of course, have been part of the Gaols-of Which there were three in Clonmel at the time.

We also see the trust the Marshal placed in Canon Conway. It has been suggested that the Marshal's motive was the hope of being handsomely paid, out of the offering that the Catholic people inevitably brought to the priests.

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This may be so, and the hope may have materialised, since the same courtesy was evident on the scaffold. However, we do know that at this time Father Tirry gave generously to the poor, and who is to say that he did not give away all he received, and that the Marshal did not act out of anything but the noblest motives? In any case, the veneration of the people is evident, and no doubt many were now coming to 'him as penitents for the last time. It is possibly true to suggest that he was greatly revered as a confessor and counsellor, and that during his years of hiding with Mrs.

Everard this would have been his main apostolate.

From the documents he emerges as a person similar to the Cure d'Ars, a sought-after confessor, a man concerned with the poor Canon Conway stresses this and a person of extraordinary mortification and prayer. The People of God.

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However, let us again listen to Father Fogarty, as he continues to tell us about Father Tirry's daily life in prison, before and after the sentence of 6 May. As we read it we can be charmed with the freshness of his words. And when he awakened, would presently fall to his wonted exercises of confessing, kneeling, praying, weeping, striking his breast, sighing and lamenting; and I believe rather for the want and necessity of others than his own; for it is hard to judge such an exemplary member as he was, to have any great offences.

There we see Father Tirry depicted as a sufferer for the Mystical Body, and especially, perhaps, as one who pleaded for the faith in Ireland, which he saw threatened all round him.

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But Father Fogarty continues:. From his words, then, there is no doubting that Father Fogarty shared the people's veneration for Father Tirry. And the same is clear in Canon Conway's account.

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The Canon brought with him to Brussels the halter and chains used on the day of the hanging, and in his sworn statement he alleges that a miracle took place, while they were at sea, through recourse to Father Tirry and the use of part of his clothing. He tells of an unexpected storm blowing up as they came along by the coast, some way off Dunkirk. The crew was unable to cope, and hopes of survival were almost abandoned, when, through prayers to Father Tirry and the use of his relic, calm was restored. It may be reminiscent of Jonah, or the story of St.