Frank McCourt Quotes
34 Sourced Quotes
When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.
I wanted to be the Great Liberating Teacher, to raise them from their knees after days of drudgery in office and factories, to help them cast off their shackles, to lead them to the mountaintop, to breathe the air of freedom. Once their minds were clear of cant, they'd see me as a savior.
People everywhere brag and whimper about the woes of their early years, but nothing can compare with the Irish version: the poverty; the shiftless loquacious alcoholic father; the pious defeated mother moaning by the fire; pompous priests; bullying schoolmasters; the English and all the terrible things they did to us for 800 long years.
When the book was published in Ireland, I was denounced from hill, pulpit and barstool. Certain citizens claimed I had disgraced the fair name of the city of Limerick, that I had attacked the church, that I had despoiled my mother's name and that if I returned to Limerick, I would surely be found hanging from a lamppost.
Why is it the minute I open my mouth the whole world is telling me they're Irish and we should all have a drink? It's not enough to be American. You always have to be something else, Irish-American, German-American, and you'd wonder how they'd get along if someone hadn't invented the hyphen.