Bernard Share


Life
1930-2013 [pseud. of Bernard Vivian Share; err. pseud. of Bernard Vivian Bolger]; b. 31 May, London [err. Chester]; ed. TCD, 1954-57; lived in Australia and taught at Newcastle Univ., NSW, 1954-57; issued The Moon is Upside Down (1962), on his life in Australia; worked as advertising copywriter; edited Aer Lingus magazine Cara, 1975-99; est. Books Ireland with Jeremy Addis, 1976, serving as editor to 1988; wrote The Bed that Went Whoosh (1964), fiction for children; his novels incl. Inish (1966), ‘a metaphysical farce’ in the Flann O'Brien tradition, endorsed by Spike Milligan (‘the funniest book I have read’) but widely ignored; issued Merciful Hour (1970), and later The Finner File ([1989] 1990) set during the Emergency and dealing with a supposed episode of Franco-Hibernian espionage;
 
edited Far Green Fields, Fifteen Hundred Years of Irish Travel Writing (1992), an anthology of Irish travel writing which includes his own The Moon is Upside Down; edited Irish Lives (1971), a compendium of biography; also Nelson on His Pillar (1976), a work of Dublin local history; issued The Emergency (1978), on the WW2 period in Ireland; wrote features for RTÉ and Australian Broadcasting Corp.; Slanguage: A Dictionary of Slang and Colloquial English in Ireland (1997, & rev. edns.); his 1966 novel Inish was reissued by Dalkey Archive (USA) in the John F. Byrne Irish Literature series in 2009; issued Transit (2009), a Flann-esque novel a plot that slips mysteriously between the Arabian Gulf and Dublin in the 1950s; he lived in Co. Kildare; d. suddenly, of heart failure; survived by sons Peregrine (Perry), Tristram, and dg. Jackie Ord. DIW OCIL

Note: in the Irish Times obituary notice (4 Sept. 2013), his name is given as Bernard Vivian Share without any allusion to pseudonym. Further - b. London, to Frederick and May [Share], both emigrated from Ireland, retaining northside Dublin links; his father was a civil servant; ed. in Pinner, Middlesex; sang in local choir and developed interest in Irish literature and Irish calligraphy; went to TCD; became Scholar; co-founded Icarus; lect. in Modern Languages in Australia and Ireland; worked in advertising at O'Kennedy Brindley, and met collaborator Billy Bolger (d.2013), the illustrator; they joined Janus Advertising on Parnell Sq.; wore Mickey Mouse ears at work; fnd. Verbiage Enterprises together; contrib. reviews to Irish Times and Hibernia; early advocate of Anthony Burgess; works incl. six children's books illustrated by Bolger (e.g., The Bed that Went Whoosh); frequent contributor to Sunday Miscellany (Radio Eireann).
 

‘A generous reviewer, Share’s kindness [as a reviewer] was not always repaid. Poet and journalist Bruce Williamson fond his early fiction owed too much to Brian O’Nolan, when writing an Irish Times satirical column as Myles na Gopaleen. Another reviewer chided an early Share work for sexism, a word then coming into vogue. In both cases it could be argued that Share’s multilayered jokes had eluded reviewers. The London Independent’s Boyd Tonkin spottedn what Bernard Share was at when reviewing Transit in 2009: “... a deliciously sly and offbeat novel of time-travel, scrambled pasts, abandoned hopes and Ireland, old and new. If Samuel Beckett ever returned to write a Doctor Who special, it might closely resemble Transit.” [...] His factual book on Ireland during the [S]econd World War, The Emergency (1987) spun off into a celebrated satricial fantasy, The Finner Faction (1989), with guest appearances by General de Gaulle and his wife. [...].’ (Q.auth., Irish Times obit., 14 Sept. 2013.)

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Works
Fiction
  • The Moon is Upside Down: Travels in the Suburbs of Arcadia (Dublin: Allen Figgis 1962), 181pp.;
  • Inish (Dublin: Allen Figgis 1966), and Do. [rep. edn. [J. F. Byrne Irish Literature Ser.] (USA: Dalkey Archive Press 2009), 148pp.
  • Merciful Hour (Dublin: Allen Figgis 1970);
  • The Finner Faction (Dublin: Odell & Adair/Poolbeg 1989) 168pp.
  • Transit (USA: Dalkey Archives 2009), 139pp.
 
Documentary,
  • Nelson on His Pillar (Dublin: Nonpareil 1976);
  • The Emergency: Neutral Ireland 1939-45 (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1978);
  • The Flight of Iolar: The Aer Lingus Experience 1936-1986 (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan 1986);
  • Shannon Departures: A Study in Regional Initiatives (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1992); Bunratty: Rebirth of a Castle (Dingle: Brandon 1995).
 
For children
  • The Bed that Went Whoosh! (Dublin: Allen Figgis 1965), ill. Billy Bolger [one of a series of six books for children].
 
Miscellaneous
  • ed. Irish Lives: Biographies of Fifty Famous Irish Men and Women (Dublin: Allen Figgis 1971);
  • ed., Far Green Fields : 1500 Years of Irish Travel Writing (Belfast: Blackstaff 1992) [infra].
  • Slanguage: A Dictionary of Slang and Colloquial English in Ireland (Dublin Gill & Macmillan 1997), 356pp.; Do. [rev. edn.] (2003), and Do. [rev. edn.] (2009), 432pp.;
  • Dublinese: Know What I Mean? (Cork: Collins Press 2006), 208pp.
 
Articles
  • ‘Downes’s cakeshop and Williams’s Jam’, in John Ryan, ed., A Bash in the Tunnel: James Joyce by the Irish (Brighton: Clifton Books 1970), p.189-92 [infra];
  • ‘The Gate Theatre’, in Encyclopaedia of Ireland (Dublin: Allen Figgis 1968).
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Bibliographical details
Far Green Fields: 1500 Years of Irish Travel Writing(Belfast: Blackstaff Press 1992), contains extracts from G. A. Birmingham, A Wayfarer in Hungary (London: Methuen 1925); Robin Bryans, Crete (1969); W. F. Butler, the Great Lone Land (London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle and Rivington 1889); Maurice Collis, Into Hidden Burma (London: Faber 1953); John Corry, A Satirical View of London (London 1801); Dufferin, Letters from High Latitudes, 11th edn. (London: Dent 1903; first pub. 1857); Desmond Fennell, Mainly in Wonder (London: Hutchinson 1959); Robert Gibbings, Over the Reefs (Dent 1948); Thomas Colley Grattan, Tales of a Walking Gentleman (Lon 1923); Beatrice Grimshaw From fiji to the Cannibal Islands (London: Nelson 1917); Maurice N. Hennessy, Africa Under My Heart (NY: Ives Washburn, 1965); Aidan Higgins, Ronda Gorge and Other Precipices (London: Secker & Warburg 1989); Pamela Hinkson, Indian Harvest (London: Collins 1941); Denis Johnston, Nine Rivers to Jordan (London: David Verschoyle 1953); William Kelly, Life in Victoria, vol. 2 (London: Chapman and Hall 1859); Arthur Leared, A visit to the Court of Morocco (London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington 1879); Anita Leslie, Love in a Nutshell (London: Hutchinson 1952); F L McClintock, The Fate of Sir John Franklin, 5th edn. (London: John Murray 1881), first publ. 1860; Micheál MacLiammóir, Put Money in thy Purse (London: Methuen 1952); Frederick Edward Manning, Old New Zealand (Christchurch: Whitcombe & Tombs 1949; first publ. 1863); John Mitchel, Jail Journal (Dublin: Gill 1913; first publ. 1854); Dervla Murphy, Full Tilt (London: John Murray 1965); Conor O’Brien, Across Three Oceans (London: Arnold 1926); Tadhg Ó Cianáin, The Flight of the Earls, trans. Fr. Paul Walsh (Dublin: M. H. Gill 1916); Pedro Alonso O’Crouley, A Description of the Kingdom of New Spain, trans and edn. by Sean Galvin (Dublin: Allen Figgis 1972); Liam O’Flaherty, Two Years (London: Jonathan Cape 1933; first publ. 1930); John J. O’Meara, trans. Voyage of St Brendan (Dublin: Dolmen 1976); Bernard Share, The Moon is Upside Down (Dublin: Allen Figgis 1962); Peter Somerville-Large, To the Naval of the World (London: Hamish Hamilton 1987); Walter Starkie, Raggle Taggle (London: John Murray 1933); Francis Stuart, States of Mind (Dublin: Raven Arts Press 1984; first pub. in Envoy, 1950); Theo. Wolfe Tone, Life of &c. (Washington 1826); John Tyndall, The Glaciers of the Alps, new edn. (London: Longmans Green 1896; first publ. 1860); Catherine Wilmot, An Irish Peer on the Continent 1810-1803, edn. Thomas U. Sadleir (London: Williams & Northgate 1920); also Share, The Moon is Upside Down (Dublin: Allen Figgis 1962) [biographical notice as in “Life”, supra; see also Appletree Catalogue, 1994, p.2].

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Commentary
Thomas J. Horgan, Review of Bernard Share, ed., Far Green Fields, Fifteen Hundred Years of Irish Travel Writing (Belfast: Blackstaff; Chester Springs: Dufour 1992), in Irish Literary Supplement (Spring 1994), p.3.

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Quotations
Downes’s cakeshop and Williams’s Jam’, in John Ryan, ed., A Bash in the Tunnel: James Joyce by the Irish (Brighton: Clifton Books 1970, pp.190-91.) Share quotes William Schutte and a a certain John Wiliam Corrington on the ‘the major causes of enervation in Dublin’ and the ‘corruption or frustration’ evinced by James Joyce’s Dubliners and protests: ‘Of course it [Dublin] was corrupt and frustrating; of course it was suffering from “spiritual [191] paralysis”, as Robert Scholes had it in a reading of “Counterparts”, because Joyce says so. I have seen no research - though of course I am nowhere near up to date in latest developments within the industry - which has tabulated the happy, cheerful things that happened in Edwardian Dublin to happy cheerful people, nothing which really exposes Joyce’s city fr the sophitic vision that it is. Andrew Cass has clearly pointed out that the reasons for Joyce’s leaving Ireland had as much to do with Joyce as with Ireland, and that when he had purged his spleen in Dubliners and Ulysses he made a belated atempt to set the record straight in Finnegan [sic], which is more or less clearly dedicated to Ireland, con amore rather than con furore. Critics and public alike, however, have preferred to disregard this late abberation; they continue to a man to take Joyce’s earlier, bitter picture of his city as the factual and atmospheric truth, and, to judge from implicit attitudes at the Symposium, nothing has changed. [...]’ (p.191-92.)

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