The Art of the Short Story


About this Item

The 'Thomas Davis Lectures' series was launched in September 1953 with the aim of introducing the listening public to the best in Irish scholarship. Frank O'Connor talks about the art of the short story in a lecture from 1964.

  • Title
    The Art of the Short Story
  • 1st Broadcast
  • Contributor
    Frank O'Connor (Presenter)
    Francis MacManus (Producer)
  • Clip Duration
  • Material Type
  • Series title
    Thomas Davis Lectures
  • Clip title
    The Art of the Short Story
  • Extended description

    The 'Thomas Davis Lectures' series was launched in September 1953 with the aim of introducing the listening public to the best in Irish scholarship. As General Features Officer, Francis MacManus produced the series from 1953 to 1965.

    A lecture series was suggested by Professor T.W. Moody as a counterpart to the Promenade Concerts, to show that "Radio Éireann was making as conspicuous a gesture to learning as it was to music". The title was named after the 19th century Protestant leader of the nationalist movement, Young Ireland, whose precept was "educate that you may be free".

    In any case, the original title of the series, 'University of the Air' was not that popular. 'University on Air', proposed by Dr Myles Dillon of the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies, would have involved three uninterrupted hours of broadcasting weekly, over a period of 26 weeks, which was more than the radio schedule could give, and possibly more than the listeners might have accepted.

    Instead, a series of six half-hourly broadcasts, transmitted on Sunday evenings, and focusing on early Irish society, was initiated. The first went out on 27 September.

    Speakers on the series included Myles Dillon, D.A. Binchy and James Carney, all eminent Celtic Studies scholars. Since then, the lectures, singly or in series, have been broadcast each autumn or winter, and have covered a broad range of subjects from the arts and sciences. These lectures quickly became one of Radio Éireann's most important programme features and have been published in book form.

    Listen here to an extract from Frank O'Connor talking about the art of short story writing from the 'Thomas Davis Lectures' series in 1964.

  • Information

    The photograph accompanying this clip shows Francis MacManus who produced the Thomas Davis lecture series from 1953 to 1965. 

  • Local keywords
    Lectures, Arts, Sciences, Francis MacManus, Frank O'Connor, Thomas Davis Lectures, 1950s, Broadcasting, Radio, RTÉ, Thomas Davis
  • Geographical coverage
  • Topic
    The Media
  • Publisher Broadcaster
  • First broadcast channel
    Radio Éireann
  • Production year
  • Country of production
  • Original identifier
  • IPR restrictions
    Rights Reserved - Free Access
  • Rights terms and conditions

    Copyright RTÉ. This material may not be replicated in any form or manner without the prior express permission of RTÉ. Any form of reproduction in print, television, video, multimedia, web site or other electronic media or any form of dissemination for commercial or non-commercial use must be licensed by the RTÉ Libraries and Archives.

    If you wish to licence video or audio clips, still images or text, or would like further guidance please contact us.

    RTÉ Libraries and Archives are committed to respecting the copyright of others and have attempted to source and credit the copyright owners of all material used here. RTÉ would like to hear from any copyright owners who are not properly identified here so that the necessary corrections can be made. If you feel your copyright has not been respected please contact us.

  • Item type
  • Item sound
  • Language used
    English (eng)