Literary Birthday – 22 February – Seán Ó Faoláin

Sean O’Faolain was born 22 February 1900 and died 20 April 1991.


  1. There is only one admirable form of the imagination: the imagination that is so intense that it creates a new reality, that it makes things happen.
  2. The things I like to find in a story are punch and poetry.
  3. The framework of the artist’s ideas is clearly only that which he is forever seeking for universality, and must be far wider than the framework of the ideals of the patriot.
  4. I have always felt that everybody on earth goes about in disguise.
  5. If we turn to early Irish literature, as we naturally may, to see what sort of people the Irish were in the infancy of the race, we find ourselves wandering in delighted bewilderment through a darkness shot with lightning and purple flame.
  6. Stories, like whiskey, must be allowed to mature in the cask.

Sean O’Faolain was an Irish writer. He is well known for his short stories about Ireland’s lower and middle classes. His stories can be read in The Collected Stories of Sean O’Faolain. He served as director of the Arts Council of Ireland from 1956 to 1959. He was also a founder member and editor of the Irish literary periodical The Bell. He was elected Saoi of Aosdána (the highest honour bestowed by Aosdána, a state-supported association of Irish creative artists) in 1986.

Source for quotes

 by Amanda Patterson

Please click here for our Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 22nd February 2020