The above is a quote by William Faulkner. It’s very relevant. I have a novel on the theme of the white feather of cowardice coming out next year, so was interested to see the below which a colleague of mine brought to my attention.
For those having problems reading the prose, it says: “This traditional White Feather is presented to you for your cowardice and betrayal of the Irish people. May this great shame be inherited by your children’s children for all time, may your name be come [sic] a byword for infamy.”
This is not a document from a century back, intended for a conscientious objector to World War I. This was sent to parliamentary representative Colm Keaveney late last year – 2012 – apparently for his opposition to welfare budget cuts.
When I wrote White Feathers, I really felt the dank, depressing energy of ill-will and stigma. That might pertain to World War I, but here we are, one hundred years later, and it’s still about.
And Christ, I feel like I need to plunge my aura into sparkling cold water after seeing that.