Edited and Introduced by Peter Kuch
32.6 x 13.8 cm. xxii, 474 pp. + 2pp. with three colour illus. 2011 Part 4 of the Collected Works of G. W. Russell - 'A.E.'
George William Russell, or AE as he was more familiarly known, was mentor and friend to three generations of Irish writers. To visit or to be sought out by AE was to be assured of a place in Irish literary history. The young James Joyce knocked on his door at midnight; Lady Gregory looked forward to his visits to Coole; Patrick Kavanagh walked from Inniskeen to Dublin to meet him; Yeats regarded him as his ‘oldest friend’; Liam O’Flaherty sought his patronage; Frank O’Connor asked his advice.
As if to guarantee Russell would not be forgotten, George Moore concluded his engaging, gossipy account of the literary movement, Hail and Farewell (1911-14), with a benediction for ‘AE and the rest’. Whether aspiring, accomplished, real or imaginary, Irish writers inevitably found themselves indebted to his practical help and inspired by his spiritual and critical insights. Even Stephen Dedalus admits to himself AEIOU.
This scrupulously researched volume brings together for the first time all of Russell’s writings on poetry, prose, drama and painting—writings central to understanding the role of literature, theatre and art in Ireland’s quest for self-realisation. Included are reviews, prefaces, introductions and articles; letters to the press on censorship and the Irish Academy of Letters; and The Honourable Enid Majoribanks, a hitherto unpublished play. Extensive notes drawing from published and unpublished sources situate each item in terms of text, intertext and context.
Peter Kuch is the inaugural Eamon Cleary Professor of Irish Studies at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. The Director of the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies at Otago, he is also an Honorary Professor at the John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies at the University of New South Wales. He holds an Honours degree from the University of Wales and an M.Litt and D.Phil from Oxford. He has held posts at the Universities of Newcastle and New South Wales, Australia; L’Université de Caen, France; and been a Visiting Fellow at the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University, and the Anthony Mason European Fellow at Trinity College, Dublin. The author of Yeats and AE: ‘the antagonism that unites dear friends’ (Colin Smythe, 1988), he is currently researching a cultural history of the performance of Irish theatre in colonial Australasia.
1. “The Poetry of William B. Yeats”; 2. “A New Irish Poetess”: review of Eva Gore-Booth, Poems; 3. “Literary Ideals in Ireland”; 4. “Nationality and Cosmopolitanism in Literature”; 5. Review of Eleanor Hull, The Cuchullin Saga in Irish Literature; 6. Review of Edward Martyn, The Heather Field and Maeve 7. “Politics and Character”; 8. “Fiona Macleod’s New Book”: review of The Dominion of Dreams; 9. Review of Fiona Macleod, The Divine Adventure; 10. “A Note on William Larminie” in Stopford Brooke and T.W. Rolleston, eds., A Treasury of Irish Poetry; 11. “The Dramatic Treatment of Heroic Literature”; 12. “The Character of Heroic Literature”: review of Lady Gregory, Cuchulain of Muirthemne; 13. “The Poetry of William Butler Yeats”; 14. “A Book about the Earth Life”: review of Ethel Longworth Dames, Myths; 15. “A Note on Standish O’Grady” in Justin McCarthy, ed., Irish Literature; 16. “Preface” to New Songs; 17. “A Note on Seamus O’Sullivan”; 18. Review of T.W. Rolleston, The High Deeds of Finn; 19. “The Poetry of James Stephens”; 20. “The Boyhood of a Poet”; 21. “A Tribute to Standish O’Grady”; 22. “On Quality of Sound”; 23. Foreword to Shan F. Bullock, Mors et Vita; 24. Foreword to Liam O’Flaherty, The Black Soul; 25. Foreword to F.R. Higgins, Island Blood; 26. Foreword to Hugh Alexander Law, Anglo-Irish Literature; 27. “Address to the Thirtieth Annual Dinner of the American-Irish Historical Society”; 28. “The Censorship in Ireland”; 29. Introduction to Oliver St. John Gogarty, Wild Apples; 30. Foreword to Katharine Tynan, Collected Poems; 31. Review of Humbert Wolfe, Snow; 32. Introductory Essay to Hugh MacDiarmuidFirst Hymn to Lenin and Other Poems; 33. “On the Character in Irish Literature” in Frank O’ConnorThe Wild Bird’s Nest: Poems Translated from the Irish; 34. "The New Irish Academy – AE replies to Father Gannon”; 35. “The Irish Academy of Letters: Letter from AE”; 36. “The New Irish Academy: Letter from AE”; 37. “The New Irish Academy: Letter from AE”; 38. “Oliver St. John Gogarty: An Appreciation”; 39. Foreword to Oliver St. John Gogarty, em>Selected Poems; 40. Introduction to Seamus O’Sullivan, Twenty-five Lyrics; 41. Introduction to Irene Haugh, The Valley of Bells and Other Poems; 42. “Memories of A.R. Orage”; 43. “An Appreciation” of Ruth Pitter, A Mad Lady’s Garland; 44. Foreword to Joseph O’Neill, Land Under England; 45. “The Sunset of Fantasy”; 46. Deirdre: A Legend in Three Acts; 47. The Honourable Enid Majoribanks: a Comedy; 48. “Art in Ireland”; 49. “An Irish Sculptor: John Hughes”; 50. “The Spiritual Influence of Art”; 51. “Two Irish Artists”; 52. “An Artist of Gaelic Ireland”; 53. “Art and Literature”; 54. “Art and Barbarism”; 55. “The Lane Bequest”; 56. “An Appreciation” of J.B. Yeats, Essays: Irish and American; 57. “Hugh Lane’s Pictures”; 58. “Some Irish Artists”
Preface to Some Irish Essays; Prefaces to Imaginations and Reveries; “Nationality or Cosmopolitanism – 1925 text”; The Countess of the Wheel; Britannia Rule-the-Wave: A Comedy; “AE’s Oration: George Moore”; “An Artist of Gaelic Ireland – 1908 text”
Abbreviations used in Glossary of Mythological References and Notes and Commentary; Glossary of Mythological References; Guide to Notes and Commentary; Notes and Commentary – Literary Writings; Notes and Commentary – Writings on Art; Notes and Commentary – Appendices; Bibliography; Index