Remembering How We Stood
Bohemian Dublin at the Mid-Century
By: John Ryan
Publication Date: June 2008
Remembering How We Stood by John Ryan with a foreword by J.P. Donleavy
Edna O’Brien chose John Ryan’s memoirs as her Observer Book of the Year in 1975, describing it as ‘a fine and loving account of literary Dublin in the golden fifties, which purrs with life and anecdote’.
This classic evocation of the period 1945-55 celebrates a city and its personalities – Brendan Behan, Patrick Kavanagh, Myles na gCopaleen (Flann O’Brien), as well as Pope’ O’Mahony, Gainor Crist the original Ginger Man, and others – a remarkable group who revitalized post-war literature in Ireland.
As friend, publisher, publican and fellow artist, Ryan paints a vivid picture of this ebullient, fertile milieu: ‘No more singular body of characters will ever rub shoulders again at any given time, or a city more uniquely bizarre than literary Dublin will ever be seen.’
‘As one reads his words, dressed in their wonderful finery of irony, the world he speaks of reblossoms to be back again awhile. To see, feel and smell the Dublin of that day; a masterpiece of reminiscence’ – from the foreword by J.P. Donleavy
‘The best book about literary Dublin ever written.’ – Frank Delaney
‘Charming , witty and often fascinating portrait of literary Dublin’s golden age , in the years after WW2.’ – Customer review
‘A gorgeously written account of Dublin and its writers and its personalities in the mid-1900s. Memorably funny touching and insightful accounts of Brendan Behan, Patrick Kavanagh, Flann O’Brien, Padraic Column, and others including Gainor Crist the model for J.P. Donleavey’s wild Gingerman, and the whole tragicomedy of an era. Written by one of Ireland’s last great and true gentlemen, the instigator of the original Bloomsday.’ – Customer review
JOHN RYAN was born in Dublin in 1925, and attended the National College of Art and Design. He enjoyed a varied life as a set designer, publisher, broadcaster and licensee. He was founder-editor of The Dublin Magazine and secretary of the James Joyce Society from 1970 to 1974. He died in 1992.