Talk:Brendan Behan

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Untitled[edit]

In "Ginger Man"[edit]

I'm fairly certain Brendan Behan, or at least a character based on him, makes an appearance in Dunleavy's "The Ginger Man". The main character (Dangerfield) is at a party in Dublin where a drunken, singing man (called Barney Berry) comes in. Dangerfield tells a partygoer "That's the son of the rightful Lord Mayor of Dulin. And his Uncle wrote the national anthem." Berry himself tells the partygoers that "I loved the British prisons...I love all you women. I would do you all and your young brothers". I know Dunleavy and Behan were friends, and it seems to me that this character is Behan making a cameo appearance in Dunleavys story (which takese place in post WW II Dublin). The behavior of Berry seems to match up with Behan's reputation at the time (scandalous, life of the party, etc.) And of course you have references to 1.) his father, the "rightful Lord Mayor", who was held in high esteem in Republican circles for his lifelong refusal to compromise 2.)his Uncle, who did indeed write the national anthem 3.)possible reference to bisexuality of Behan 4.) his heavy drinking and drunkeness 5.) his love of music and song.

I'm curious if anyone else thinks so. It is on page 164 in the edition of "The Ginger Man" I have.-Masthope —Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.255.210.172 (talk) 01:42, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Gay?[edit]

I see that Brendan Behan is listed as a gay writer but that Julian Bell was not. I say this because there seems to be good grounds for listing Bell as such, but I don't know what basis the Behan listing is. I haven't heard anything that way.

As there is nothing in the article to support this categorisation, I have removed it. Filiocht | Blarneyman 14:11, Jun 2, 2005 (UTC)

Well, there's Michael O'Sullivan's biography, for starters. At the very least Behan was certainly bisexual.

While we're at it, what about William Shakespeare?--PeadarMaguidhir 21:41, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

I think you are probably right about bisexuality, never mentioned at a time when the punishment was hard labour. I don't remember any references in the autobiographies, that seems uncharacteristically reticent for Behan.
Like Behan, theories of Shakespeare's sexuality are thicker than any evidence. If either were, they regarded it as essentially a private matter, and with WS we only really have evidence of the marriage and the issue. I don't think it's particularly useful to hang labels on people - particularly one offs like Behan, unless there's good evidence and it's an acknowledged fact. Kbthompson 12:41, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Peter Arthurs was close to Behan and wrote an account (With Brendan Behan, St, Martin's Press, 1981 - ISBN 0-312-88471-0) which claims that Behan was not only gay but a pedophile. I don't see any reason why Arthurs would lie, but I'm not a Behan scholar (& a Wikipedia noob) so I'll keep it out of the article for now.75.111.197.179 (talk) 07:11, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

That's all well and good, but to have an LGBT category we must support it with sourced material in the body of the article that gives readers the relevant details, so that they're not totally surprised when they get to the bottom, having read along the way about his marriage to a woman, and discover for the VERY FIRST TIME that he also had a thing for other men. Remember, categories are used to categorise subjects based on what's in their articles, not what's in external biographies or people's heads.
I'm removing the LGBT category for now; when something supporting it is added to the article, it can be restored. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 06:17, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

Brendan Behan and Guinness[edit]

I have contacted Diagio and Guinness to verify that Brendan Behan was commissioned to write a slogan for Guinness Stout. The response I recieved was as follows... "I contacted our Archives department regarding you enquiry. Unfortunately they are not familiar with either slogan you mentioned in your email. Guinness has never commissioned Brendan Behan to write that line - however, whether Brendan Behan himself wrote that line about Guinness we wouldn’t be able to confirm that for you." Can anyone verify that Brendan Behan even wrote that line???

Carrie Croft

I found a reference to the Behan slogan story on the following webpage: http://www.irishabroad.com/news/irishpost/Travel/Getwhiskedaway.asp. Of course, that doesn't make it true, but it does suggest the legend is not uncommon. Bjimba 20:56, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
Sounds like an urban myth. He was close to Garech Browne in his last years, so if it was true there were no hard feelings.JoxerD 18:51, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Ould Triangle vs. Lament for Brendan Behan[edit]

The "Ireland has lost her sweet angry singer" song is "Lament for Brendan Behan," recorded by the Clancys. In his speech introducing the song on the "Recorded Live in Ireland" album, Liam Clancy describes how "a young Jewish lad" came up to him after a gig, saying that on hearing of Behan's death he "just had to write this song" and asking that the Clancys sing it. I was not able to verify whether the Doug Anthony All Stars cover of it is actually called "The Old (Auld/Ould) Triangle," so I took that mention out. If the DAAS did call it that, it was a mistitling. --Hieronymus Illinensis 18:23, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

The language - Irish vs. Gaelic[edit]

When I initially added the play An Giall and mentioned that Behan had written the play in Irish, I selected the name of the language (Irish instead of Gaelic) on purpose. If you follow the link Irish language, you'll see why I did. The preferred usage in a scholarly work is "Irish". I've changed this one back, and hope I can get agreement on it. (I do realize that trying to get agreement from any group of people interested in Behan's page is a difficult task.)

Also, when I added that entry, I had described it something like "Behan wrote the play in Irish, and then translated it himself into English". This has been changed, apparently in an effort to make it less wordy. But the words were chosen very carefully -- he wrote the entire play in one language, and then began to translate into English. I wanted to convey the fact that he did not write in both languages simultaneously, and also the fact that he did the translation himself -- an unusual step for an author, where it is more common for someone else to do the translation. In any case, I didn't change it back, but I'd like to ask for suggestions for how this should best be worded. Bjimba 03:40, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

I have no trouble with Irish, that's what it was called when I was a kid, and that was towards the end of Behan's life.
I would also say that the actual theatrical productions were also important, both The Quare fellow and The Hostage transferred to the Theatre Workshop, in Stratford. John Littlewood's company specialised in a form of improvisational theatre, where plays would be transformed in production. Behan was intimately involved during that process, but the plays essentially developed in performance. The Theatre Workshop got into trouble with the Lord Chamberlaine's dept. because they never kept to any kind of script. It was the Theatre Workshop productions that transferred to the West End and New York, thereby making Behan's International reputation. Kbthompson 23:45, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

The Quare Fella[edit]

This article states that the "Quare Fella" is slang for the condemned man. I have always understood that this refers to the Hangman. When my mother used the expression, she would be refering to somebody who she thought "a bit strange" or someone she "didn't know". If the term refers to the condemed man, it would be called the "Quare Fellas" because there are two condemned men, not one. Thank you. Pat Pending (talk) 14:44, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

    • Yes 'quare' is a colloquial Irish English spelling for 'queer', meaning 'unusual'. It is not slang for 'a condemned man' but a condemned man, or indeed a hangman could be a quare fella. As it's a long time since i saw the play I forget to whom it refers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 194.66.226.95 (talk) 14:41, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
      • Someone believes that 'Quare' equalled 'Condemned' in 1950s Dublin speech. It didn't then, and it doesn't now. The characters are referring to a man who happens to be condemned, and his crimes encourage the label (hence the confusion), but the term could equally be applied to the uncondemned. A 'Quare Fella' is a general term indicting someone odd or peculiar or judged to be an outsider. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 194.66.226.95 (talk) 13:10, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, that fits in nicely with what me Mammy used to say, and they're never wrong! All the best, Pat Pending (talk) 18:37, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

The image - which one is Behan?[edit]

It's not clear to me which one is Behan. Can someone who knows please indicate in the caption?

Clarification added to image. BigDuncTalk 11:50, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Time For Revision?[edit]

This article is a travesty, lacking citations and replete with POV statements. Hushpuckena (talk) 05:08, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

It's detailed and comprehensive, but it lacks citations and reads like a personal essay. I'm going to add a refimprove template. --Ef80 (talk) 18:52, 21 January 2013 (UTC)


Some comments on the "Songs" section:

"The Auld Triangle" - Not written by Brendan, but his brother Dominic for Brendan's play 'The Quare Fellow "The Captain and the Kings" - Written by Brendan. "Come out ye Black and Tans" - Again, a Dominic Behan song - written about their dad Stephen. "Streams of Whiskey" by the Pogues - As it says, a Shane MacGowan song although Brendan is the subject — Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.222.113.24 (talk) 20:03, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Encyclopedia?[edit]

Wikipedia gives a lot of lip service to being an "encyclopedia" and a stickler for referencing sources. This article is an example of how Wikipedia is and does neither. None of this is sourced. A lot of it reads like pure conjecture and a fan page. I came to this page because I did not know anything about the subject. I still don't. None of this is reliable. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.119.151.233 (talk) 04:32, 21 August 2013 (UTC)