Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine

Frank O’Connor and torture in the novel

Glamourising torture didn’t start with Fox TV’s 24. It’s an international, or at least anglo-saxon sport with a proud pedigree.

“What I cannot understand is why, in America, the last middle-class country, you still cannot beat this loss of faith in the individual.

I’ve had this argument out. I was reviewing for a London newspaper, and a British intelligence officer who was alos a novelist wrote a book in which he defended the use of torture against prisoners. My paper was conservative and I asked ‘How far can I go?’ and they said, ‘Say what you want to say ‘ – and I did. They were magnificent about it. But that book was reviewed in the left-wing journals and they saw nothing wrong with the defense of torture. I know perfectly well you can make a human being say anything or do anything if you torture him enough, and that does not prove that the individual does not exist “

Taken from a wonderful interview in the Paris Review with the Cork born short-story writer, author of the powerful Guests of the Nation. The interview was done in 1957

Any guesses as to the title O’Connor was reviewing?

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