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- Ours is the wild tumult of the unchained storm, the tumult of the army on the march, clashing its cymbals, rioting with excess of energy. Need we be ashamed of it?
- The wind came steadily, like the rushing of a great cataract heard at a great distance, but the noises of the sea were continually changing, rising and falling, with the stupendous modulations of an orchestra played by giants.
- "The Landing", from Spring Sowing (1924; New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1926) p. 70
- He was a poor weak human being like themselves, a human soul, weak and helpless in suffering, shivering in the toils of the eternal struggle of the human soul with pain.
- The Informer (1925; London: New English Library, 1971) p. 139
- I was born on a storm-swept rock and hate the soft growth of sun-baked lands where there is no frost in men's bones.
- Joseph Conrad: An Appreciation (1930; New York: Haskell House, 1973) p. 11
Quotes about O'Flaherty
- His books have the impress of pressing time. Their violence, like the violence of his characters, suggests the scream of a safety-valve.
- Seán Ó Faoláin, in The London Mercury, December 1937, p. 171
- When O'Flaherty thinks, he's a goose, when he feels, he's a genius.