21.6 x 13.8 cm. xviii, 184 pp. 1998 Ulster Editions & Monographs series (ISSN 0954-3392) volume 6
Louis MacNeice's status as a major 20th Century literary talent and a key figure in the development of modern Irish Literature in English is now established since the acceleration of critical interest and enterprise from the early 1970s to the present.
It is no accident that MacNeice's critical rehabilitation, after some decades of relative neglect, was effected largely by critics with an awareness of the Irish dimension of his make-up as a poet and who could thus appreciate the full complexity of the social, cultural and historical influences working on and through him; and it is similarly the case that the reassessment of MacNeice from the 1970s onward was consequent on the 'renaissance' in Northern Irish poetry in the 1960s.
MacNeice is no longer inadequately categorised as a 'Thirties' also-ran in the shadow of Auden, or as a writer of 'poetry on the surface'.
It is now more possible to see him whole – as a poet of complex, multiple identities and allegiances, as a writer of manifold talents (poet, critic, dramatist, broadcaster) and as a preternaturally alert, lyric recorder of the social and phenomenal world whose vision is conditioned by a profound philosophical scepticism.
The present volume, which brings together a number of experts on MacNeice's work, continues and extends the exploration of the range and depth of his achievement, with essays on various topics, including his influence on writers such as Michael Longley, Derek Mahon, Seamus Heaney and Paul Muldoon.
The essays were mostly given as papers at the conference held at the University of Ulster, Coleraine in September 1994. It was the first to have been exclusively devoted to the poet's work. It will be the seventh volume in the Ulster Editions and Monographs series.More info →