In this collection of lucid essays that cover the entire eighty years of modern Irish drama, Robert Hogan writes about the major Irish dramatists of the 20th century and their impact on audiences, and on other playwrights, as well as considering the works themselves. In them he uses a variety of critical techniques, ranging from biography to studies of influence, structure and dialogue, to history and anecdote, and the ill-treatment of several sacred cows.
In addition to essays on such giants as Synge, O'Casey, and Beckett, the book deals with more neglected figures such as W. J. Lawrence and the still insufficiently appreciated George Fitzmaurice and Denis Johnston. It also presents a full critical survey of the years 1963-83 in which exciting writers like Brian Friel, Hugh Leonard and John B. Keane made their mark. The author's style and varied ways of dealing with the subjects make this volume particularly enjoyable, as well as informative, reading.
YEATS CREATES A CRITIC
THE INFLUENCE OF SYNGE
THERE IS REALISM AND REALISM
O'CASEY, THE STYLE AND THE ARTIST
O'CASEY, THE STYLE AND THE MAN
THE INFLUENCE OF O'CASEY
DENIS JOHNSTON'S HORSE LAUGH
TRYING TO LIKE BECKETT
A Factual Appendix
A Critical Appendix, by W. J. Lawrence, containing his reviews of Birthright by T. C. Murray (1910), The Magic Glasses by George Fitzmaurice (1913), Shanwalla by Lady Gregory (1915), and Juno and the Paycock by Sean O'Casey (1924)