IASAIL-JAPAN series Volume 4
In Memory of Barbara Hayley
This volume analyses the interplay between religion and society in Ireland and how Irish writing, whether poetry, prose, drama, sermon or pamphlet, has reflected that interplay, and how the idea of wholeness and integration, as part of the religious search, informs Irish writing.
Irish literature has been influenced by religion from the beginning. Writing itself came about as a result of the conversion to Christianity, because the early church brought with it a Latin orthography which the native men of learning adopted. Pagan beliefs and practices were assimilated into Christianity, but not entirely so: a theme that surfaces continually in Irish writing is the conflict between Pagan and Christian values. This tension is also an interaction: one of the characteristics of Irish literature of all periods is its capacity to retain pagan stories and modes of thought. This retention reflects a society which, while Christianised, has many roots in a pre-Christian Celtic past.
The essays follow a broadly chronological pattern covering every facet of the subject, starting with Paganism in early Ireland, and moving on to the literary uses of folk belief and religion in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.
'Paganism and Society in Early Ireland'. Séamus MacMathúna
'Literature and Religion in Eighteenth-Century Ireland: A Critical Survey'. Joseph McMinn
'Religion and Society in Nineteenth-Century Fiction'. Barbara Hayley
'The Word, the Lore, and the Spirit: Folk Religion and the Supernatural in Modern Irish Literature'. Dáithi Ó hÓgáin
'Ghosts in Anglo-Irish Literature'. Peter Denman
'Shaw and Creative Evolution'. A. M. Gibbs
'Catholicism in the Culture of the New Ireland: Canon Sheehan and Daniel Corkery'. Ruth Fleischmann
'Yeats and Religion'. Mitsuko Ohno
'Joyce and Catholicism'. Eamonn Hughes
'Francis Stuart and Religion: Sharing the Leper's Lair'. Anne McCartney
'Received Religion and Secular Vision: MacNeice and Kavanagh'. Alan Peacock
'"A mythology with which I am perfectly familiar": Samuel Beckett and the Absence of God'. Lance St John Butler
'Pilgrim's Progress: on the Poetry of Desmond Egan and Others'. Patrick Rafroidi
'Religion?'. Desmond Egan
'Mis and Dubh Ruis: A Parable of Psychic Transformation'. Nuala ni Dhomhnaill
Notes on Contributors
Published to mark Johnston's eightieth birthday, when he was the doyen of Ireland's living playwrights, this volume brings together memories from friends and critical essays on his work and achievement by leading scholars – John Boyd, Curtis Canfield, Richard Allen Cave, Mark Culme-Seymour, Cyril Cusack, Hilton Edwards, Maurice Elliott, Harold Ferrar, Robert Hogan, Thomas Kilroy, Roger McHugh, Micheál mac Liammóir, D.E.S.Maxwell, Vivian Mercier, Christopher Murray, B.L.Reid, Joseph Ronsley and Christine St Peter – together with a checklist of Denis Johnston's writings compiled by the editor of this volume.
Included as an appendix are some recent revisions by Denis Johnston to his A Bride for the Unicorn.
List of Illustrations
AN APPRECIATION. Hilton Edwards
THE OLD LADY SAYS `NO!' Micheál MacLiammóir
THE OLD LADY: IN PRINCIPIO. Christine St Peter
WAITING FOR EMMET. D.E.S.Maxwell
A NOTE ON THE NATURE OF EXPRESSIONISM AND DENIS JOHNSTON'S PLAYS. Curtis Canfield
THE MOON IN THE YELLOW RIVER: DENIS JOHNSTON'S SHAVIANISM. Thomas Kilroy
DENIS JOHNSTON'S HORSE LAUGH. Robert Hogan
JOHNSTON, TOLLER AND EXPRESSIONISM. Richard Allen Cave
THE GOLDEN CUCKOO: `A VERY REMARKABLE BIRD'. Christopher Murray
'HE IS ALWAYS JUST ROUND THE NEXT CORNER.' DENIS JOHNSTON'S IN SEARCH OF SWIFT . Maurice Elliott
'A HUMANE AND WELL-INTENTIONED PIECE OF GALLANTRY': DENIS JOHNSTON'S THE SCYTHE AND THE SUNSET Joseph Ronsley
THE ENDLESS SEARCH. John Boyd
THE PLAYS OF DENIS JOHNSTON. Roger McHugh
DEAR DENIS! Cyril Cusack
DENIS JOHNSTON'S SPIRITUAL QUEST. Harold Ferrar
JOHNSTON IN ACADEME. B.L. Reid
WITH DENIS JOHNSTON IN THE WESTERN DESERT. Mark Culme-Seymour
PERFECTION OF THE LIFE OR OF THE WORK. Vivian Mercier
CHECKLIST-LIST OF DENIS JOHNSTON'S WRITINGS. Joseph Ronsley
APPENDIX: REVISIONS TO A BRIDE FOR THE UNICORN, ETC. Denis Johnston
Notes on Contributors
21.6 x 13.8 cm. viii, 291 pp. 2006
Ulster Editions & Monographs Series (ISSN 0954-3392) volume 14
Ever since his student efforts thrilled Seamus Heaney in the early 1970s, Paul Muldoon has written poetry acclaimed for its brilliance and originality, its mischievousness, wit and complex artifice. Today, Muldoon is widely considered to be the greatest poet of his generation, not just in Ireland, but throughout the English-speaking world.
The twelve essays collected here chart the development of this unpredictable, innovative and challenging talent over the last thirty years. They offer a kaleidoscopic examination of Muldoon’s writings in the three genres of poetry, prose and drama, from a variety of perspectives, and without any polemical intention beyond that of celebrating his achievement.
Taken together, these essays attempt to map the continuity of Muldoon’s diverse and substantial oeuvre, but also to highlight its constant experimentalism; they demonstrate how difficult it is for us to know how seriously we should take anything Muldoon says, but alert us to the ways in which the playfulness and cleverness contribute to a profound ethical seriousness; they explore his complexly deconstructive technique to show how it represents a constant renewal of the self and of form; they show how the momentum for escape from the past is always contained within the recognition of the impossibility of escape; they examine the work as a means of both evasive self-protection from the world and self-expression of an intense emotional life; they calculate the ratios of scepticism and passion, unknowing and knowingness, which give the work its uniquely compelling power; they orientate the reader towards the Muldoonian home as always being located where it is not; they help us to see the way the writing folds back or feeds upon itself, and upon others’ writings, yet yearns for freedom and transcendence. They are confirmation of the validity of Heaney’s comment of nearly thirty years ago, when he said that Muldoon was the kind of writer who doesn’t offer us answers, but keep us alive in the middle of the question.
The contributors are (in order of the essays) Peter Denman, Richard York, Kathleen McCracken, Tim Kendall, Tim Hancock, Elmer Kennedy-Andrews, Stan Smith, Ivan Phillips, Clair Wills, Heather O’Donoghue, Guinn Batten, and Jerzy Jarniewicz. A number of these essays were originally delivered as lectures at the fifth Ulster Symposium at the University of Ulster at Coleraine in 2000. Also included is a transcript of the symposium interview that Neil Corcoran conducted with the poet.
Elmer Kennedy-Andrews is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Ulster at Coleraine. His books include The Poetry of Seamus Heaney: All the Realms of Whisper (1988); (editor) Seamus Heaney: A Collection of Critical Essays (1992); (editor) Contemporary Irish Poetry: A Collection of Critical Essays (1992); The Art of Brian Friel: Neither Dreams nor Reality (1995); The Poetry of Seamus Heaney; Icon Critical Guides (1998), (editor) Irish Fiction Since 1960 (2004), Fiction and the Northern Ireland Troubles: (De-) Constructing the North (2003), and Writing Home: Poetry and Place in Northern Ireland 1968-2008 (2009).More info →
21.6 x 13.8 cm. Irish Literary Studies series (ISSN 0140-895X) volume 19
O’Casey, the Dramatist is the first study to analyse each of Sean O’Casey’s plays in the context of the whole body of his work. His first plays were performed by the Abbey Theatre in Dublin until it refused The Silver Tassie, a rejection that brought about a most acrimonious debate, broke up friendships, and caused O’Casey to sever his links with the Abbey. Its directors were unable to understand the first of his experimental plays, and could not appreciate its true quality. Thenceforth O'Casey’s writing developed along new lines, mostly away from his Irish roots.
In popular estimation his best plays are those of the Dublin years – The Shadow of a Gunman, Juno and the Paycock and The Plough and the Stars – but many of his later works are greatly undervalued; indeed The Silver Tassie, Within the Gates, Purple Dust, Red Roses for Me, Hall of Healing, Cock-a-doodle Dandy and The Bishop's Bonfire are all masterpieces of modern drama, as this study shows.
Professor Kosok considers all the twenty-three extant plays, tracing O'Casey's development as a playwright through a chronological study and showing that his work can be divided into five periods, which are considered in this volume under the headings ‘Dublin as a Mirror of the World’, 'Experiments’, ‘Ideology and Drama', ‘Ireland as a Microcosm', and ‘Bitterness and Reconciliation’. He ends this study with a section headed ‘Continuity and Originality' in which he briefly summarises the findings of previous scholarship, suggests some additional answers to general problems, and indicates some avenues for future research.
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21.6 x 13.8 cm. 262 pp. 2003
It is well known that through their plays and lecture tours the dramatists of the Irish Literary Revival influenced and inspired those of America and elsewhere to set up their own national theatres and theatre movements, but most students of the Revival are unaware of just how far this influence extended. It would surely have surprised the founders and early playwrights of the Abbey Theatre to learn that their plays were not only being published in Japan (which they knew), but were also influencing translators, playwrights, critics and theatre associations in Korea – though it is hardly surprising that with little knowledge of Irish culture the translators often misinterpreted the plays and gave them political or social slants entirely lacking in the originals.
In the present work, Won-Jae Jang describes the development of Korean theatre societies such as the Theatre Arts Association, the Earth Moon Society, and the Theatre Arts Research Association during the first quarter of the 20th century, how plays by Lady Gregory, J.M. Synge, Lord Dunsany, Sean O’Casey and T.C. Murray were interpreted – or misinterpreted – by Korean translators, and then describes their impact on Korean dramatists, showing in particular how the work of Synge and O’Casey influenced Chi-Jin Yoo (translations of three of whose plays – The Cow, The Mud Hut and The Donkey – are published in a companion volume, ISBN 978-0-86140-452-0), and Murray influenced Se-Deok Ham. This work therefore opens up Irish Drama’s hitherto little-known influences on a region of the Eastern hemisphere.
Won-Jae Jang was born in Seoul, graduated from Korea University (BA), and Goldsmiths College, University of London (MA), and was granted his PhD from Royal Holloway, University of London in 2000. He is now working for Soongsil University as a Junior Professor.
21.6 x 13.8 cm. Ulster Editions & Monographs series (ISSN 0954-3392) volume 7
In recent years the literature arising out of the Troubles of the last three decades has understandably stimulated widespread and sustained critical comment and debate, but there has been no such intensive examination of the Irish literature of the century’s wars.
The events of 1916, the Anglo-Irish War, the Irish and Spanish Civil Wars and the First and Second World Wars stimulated a literature by Irish writers of cumulative interest and importance. In particular, in its diversity and in the complexities of allegiance, attitude and situation involved, it is in contrast with, for instance, English war writing of this century where the issues are less complex, and where First World War combatant writing with its stress on battlefield experience laid down an influential paradigm for writers of later wars. Much Irish writing relating to the century’s conflicts is the work of non-combatants – most famously Yeats and O’Casey – and the greater variety of types of war experience endured in conflicts of varying degrees of intensity and duration, both on home ground and abroad, gave rise to a war literature that shows a wide spectrum of literary responses. It is precisely this diversity in its various political and social contexts that the present volume seeks to address.
The essays collected here, a number of which were delivered at the first session of the Ulster Symposium at the University of Ulster in 1992, comprise an examination of a range of Irish war-related writing by specialists in various fields. Some attention is given to the literature of the recent Troubles, but the main focus of the book is on the century’s wars in Irish literary experience.
Introduction. Kathleen Devine
'The Secret Scripture: Irish Poets in the European War'. Bruce Stewart
'1916: the Idea and the Action'. Declan Kiberd
'Yeats and War'. Jacqueline Genet
'Maud Gonne: Romantic Republican'. A.Norman Jeffares
'O'Casey at War'. Christopher Murray
'Sean O'Faolain's Midsummer Night Madness and Other Stories: Contexts for Revisionism'. Patrick Walsh
'Frank O'Connor's ‘War Book’: Guests of the Nation'. Elmer Andrews
'Louis MacNeice and the Second World War'. Terence Brown
'Beckett and World War II'. John Fletcher
'Elizabeth Bowen: the War's ‘Awful Illumination’ in The Heat of the Day'. Josette Leray
'Denis Johnston: Neutrality and Buchenwald'. Terence Boyle
'A Question of Guilt - Francis Stuart's War'. Anne McCartney
'Reading Protestant Writing: representations of the Troubles in the Poetry of Derek Mahon and Glen Patterson's Burning Your Own'. John Goodby
'A Necessary Distance? Mythopoeia and Violence in At the Black Pig's Dyke'. Alan J. Peacock and Kathleen Devine
'Sunshine & the Moon's Delight'
21.0 x 13.8 cm. 356 pp. 1979
A paperback edition of the out-of-print hardback Sunshine & the Moon's Delight
The essays in this book (first published in 1972) demonstrate the universal appeal of J. M. Synge’s writings and his influence in the world. Collected and published in commemoration of the centenary of his birth, the volume originates from the oldest ‘modern’ university in the Arab world, and the contributions come from many countries, including Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, Syria and the United States.
The collection consists of essays dealing with specific works (drama, poetry and prose) as well as with general studies of Synge as man and artist.
The book brings together in one volume some of the different kinds of work being carried out in the field of Synge studies.
It has not only proved of value to scholars, but is also a most useful reference work for students at schools and universities. It is edited by Suheil Badi Bushrui, who was born in Jordan,and was at that time Chairman of the Department of English at the American University of Beirut and a Ph.D. of Southampton University (England), where he was a British Council Scholar. He taught at the University of Ibadan (Nigeria), Calgary and York (Canada), and lectured at African, American, English and continental universities. In 1963 he was awarded the Una Ellis-Fermor Prize for his work on W. B. Yeats, on whom he has published four books; Yeats’s Verse Plays; The Revisions, 1900-1910 (1965); W. B. Yeats; Centenary Essays (1965); Shi'un Min Yeats (1969), the first book in Arabic on Yeats; and Images and Memories; A Pictorial Record of the life and works of W. B. Yeats (1970).
He has also written on English, Arabic and African literatures as well as on Anglo-Irish literature, his main interest. He organised the Gibran International Festival in Beirut (1970), and edited An Introduction to Kahlil Gibran (1970) and several other works on Gibran and Ameen Rhiani. He was President of the Association of University Teachers of English in the Arab World. He died on 10 September 2015. Obituaries can be found at http://ysnews.com/news/2015/09/suheil-badi-bushrui and at http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/obituaries/bs-md-ob-suheil-bushrui-20150927-story.html, https://arabhyphen.wordpress.com/2015/09/10/suheil-badi-bushrui-passes-away-1929-2015/ and elsewhere.
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Irish Poetry from Moore to Yeats examines the work of seven of the most significant Irish poets of the nineteenth century. Beginning with the impact that Thomas Moore's nationalist sentiment and generalised tone had on the language of poetry for much of the century, Dr. Welch then discusses J. J. Callanan’s attempt to deal with a Byronic restlessness and his startling translations from the Gaelic. He shows how James Clarence Mangan tested out different ‘voices’ to express his psychic plurality and discovered a special freedom in his versions of Gaelic originals. He describes the foundering of Samuel Ferguson’s vision of the reconciliation of Gaelic and Protestant traditions and demonstrates how the transcendental Catholicism of Aubrey de Vere mirrored Ireland’s historical difficulties. He surveys William Allingham's scope, fairmindedness and attention to detail, and lastly considers the comprehensive power of W. B. Yeats’s searching, qualifying imagination that informs his early work.
A tradition emerges, composite, flawed, passionate, rhetorical, anxious; its intricate entanglements underlie many of the preoccupations of twentieth century Irish life and writing.
1. Thomas Moore: An Elegiac Silence
2. J. J. Callanan: A Provincial Romantic
3. James Clarence Mangan: 'Apples from the Dead Sea Shore'
4. Sir Samuel Ferguson: The Two Races of Ireland
5. Aubrey de Vere: An Attempt at a Catholic Humanity
6. William Allingham: 'The power and zest of all appearance'
7. Yeats and Oisin
List of Works Cited
Chosen and Introduced by Christopher Murray
The first volume of the Irish Drama Selections series (ISSN 0260-7962), General Editors: Joseph Ronsley and Ann Saddlemyer.
ISBN: 0-86140-087-9 / 978-0-86140-087-4 £25.00
Paperback ISBN: 0-86140-088-7 / 978-0-86140-088-1 £9.95
Contains: Patriots, The Whiteheaded Boy, Crabbed Youth and Age, The Big House, Drama at Inish, Church Street, bibliographical checklist.
Lennox Robinson was one of the leading playwrights of Dublin's Abbey Theatre as well as being its general manager and a director for many years. As with many other playwrights of the twentieth century, his work has been unjustly neglected, this volume, published in 1982, being the first of his plays to have appeared for over a quarter of a century. It is fitting, therefore, that this selection should be the first of a new series, Irish Drama Selections, which has sought to remedy the shortage of texts of the work of Ireland's dramatists, which with the exception of perhaps ten authors, are virtually unobtainable except in rare editions, long out of print.
Christopher Murray is Emeritus Professor of Drama and Theatre History, School of English, Drama and Film, University College Dublin. He is former editor of Irish University Review and former chair of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures (IASIL). Among his publications are Twentieth Century Irish Drama: Mirror up to Nation and Sean O'Casey, Writer at Work: A Biography. He also chose and introduced the fifteenth volume in the Irish Drama Selections series, Selected Plays of George Shiels.
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21.4 x 13.6 cm. xiv, 248 pp. 1993 Irish Literary Studies Series (ISSN 0140-895X) volume 45
A Small Nation’s Contribution to the World contains a selection from the papers given at the 1989 conference of the International Association for the Study of Anglo-Irish Literature, with Professor Robert Welch as Chairman. The conference, the first ever held in Eastern-Central Europe, convened in Debrecen, Hungary, chaired by Professor Istvan Palffy. This selection is broadly representative of the truly international nature of the conference – whose delegates came from every continent – and of the study of Irish literature today. It includes essays on Beckett, Joyce, Friel, Yeats, O'Casey, Parker, Clarke, Kinsella, Muldoon, Mahon, Banville, Brian Moore, Edna O'Brien, Swift and Edgeworth as well as on critical issues, such as: the uses of the fantastic in prose and drama, modernism and romanticism, Irish semiotics, social criticism in contemporary Irish poetry and. especially appropriate for the occasion, the relationship and influence of Hungary and Ireland on one another's literature.
Contributors to this volume are Csilla Bertha, Eoin Bourke, Patrick Burke, Martin J. Croghan, Ruth Fleischmann, Maurice Harmon, Werner Huber. Thomas Kabdebo, Veronika Kniezsa, Mária Kurdi, Donald E. Morse, Ruth Neil, István Rácz, Marius Byron Raizis, Aladár Sarbu, Bernice Schrank, Joseph Swann and András Ungar.
21.6 x 13.8 cm. viii, 350 pp. 1990 Irish Literary Studies series (ISSN 0140-895X) volume 36 IASAIL-Japan Series (ISSN 0267-6079) volume 3
This collection of essays looks at a variety of responses by writers to the problems of their motherland. Includes essays on Swift, Burke, Ferguson, Yeats, Lady Gregory, Joyce, Shaw, O'Casey, Parker and Egan, as well as Northern Irish poets and playwrights. Essayists include Vivian Mercier, A. Norman Jeffares, Lorna Reynolds, Maurice Harmon, John S. Kelly, Declan Kiberd, Christopher Murray, Brian Arkins, and Augustine Martin.
INTRODUCTION. Masaru Sekine
ENGLISH READERS: THREE HISTORICAL 'MOMENTS'. Vivian Mercier
SWIFT: ANATOMY OF AN ANTI-COLONIALIST. A. Norman Jeffares
EDMUND BURKE: A VOICE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS. Lorna Reynolds
THE ENIGMA OF SAMUEL FERGUSON. Maurice Harmon
W. B. YEATS: POLITICS AND HISTORY. Donna Gerstenberger
ASCENDANCY NATIONALISM, FEMINIST NATIONALISM AND STAGECRAFT IN LADY GREGORY'S REVISION OF KINCORA. Maureen S.G. Hawkins
THE FIFTH BELL: RACE AND CLASS IN YEATS'S POLITICAL THOUGHT. John S. Kelly
KINESIS STASIS, REVOLUTION IN YEATSEAN DRAMA. Augustine Martin
JAMES JOYCE AND POLITICS. Heather Cook Callow
SAINT JOAN: FABIAN FEMINIST AND PROTESTANT MYSTIC. Declan Kiberd
THE 'MIGHT OF DESIGN' IN THE PLOUGH AND THE STARS. Christopher Murray
THE WILL TO FREEDOM: POLITICS AND PLAY IN THE THEATRE OF STEWART PARKER. Elmer Andrews
TOO LITTLE PEACE: THE POLITICAL POETRY OF DESMOND EGAN. Brian Arkins
WHO WE ARE: PROTESTANTS AND POETRY IN THE NORTH OF IRELAND. David Burleigh
THEATRE WITH ITS SLEEVES ROLLED UP. Emelie Fitzgibbon
Notes on Contributors
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22.9 x 15.3 cm.
Henry Newbolt (1862-1938) was a celebrated man of letters at the turn of the century: poet, essayist, historian. But his popularity ebbed after the Great War, and since then the man and his poetry have received more than their share of hostile criticism. Even today critics oversimplify Newbolt. Most often he is typecast as the leading jingoist of the Edwardian age, not unlike Rudyard Kipling was until recently.
In The Poetry of Henry Newbolt, Vanessa Furse Jackson gives us a fresh look at the man, his poetry and their historical context. Her discussions of his heroic and lyric poems are framed by a close examination of the institutionalised values that lay behind Newbolt’s popularity. She looks at the intimate ties between his life-code and his education, particularly his public school education, and at the pervasive concepts of heroism, chivalry and patriotism inherited by the younger generation of the 1870s. She later examines how traditional Victorian and Edwardian attitudes, not just the general public’s but Newbolt’s as well, were irrevocably altered by the gruesome events of World War I.
Jackson provides nuance and perspective to show that Newbolt was not simply the blind patriot described by many literary historians. What he represents, she says, ‘is something much more interesting, and, in a complete history of the period, both more important and more complex.’ In addition to revealing much about the concepts, ideals and aspirations of the Victorian middle class in which he grew up, Newbolt ‘represents one of the last movements in poetry to occur in the fin-de-siècle anticipation and anxiety of the 1890s. [He] is a minor figure who represents major Victorian values and attitudes.’
In The Poetry of Henry Newbolt, Professor Jackson reconnects the poems to their context and offers new insights into Henry Newbolt, his work, and the Transi¬tion era itself.
VANESSA FURSE JACKSON, a great-granddaughter of Henry Newbolt, spent ten years in theatre in England before returning to college in 1981 and completing a BA (hons) in Related Arts at the West Sussex Institute of Higher Education. After graduating in 1984, she came to the United States and received an MFA in Creative Writing at Bowling Green State Uni¬versity in 1986. She completed her Ph.D. at Bowling Green in 1990. Professor Jackson spent her time teaching at Texas A & M University – Corpus Christi, before returning to live in England.
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 →
21.6 x 13.8 cm. l, 455 pp. 2006 Irish Literary Studies series (ISSN 0140-895X) volume 53
The William Carleton Summer School is one of the most important literary festivals on the island in that there are very few that make a point of studying an aspect of Ireland before the Great Famine. William Carleton (1794-1869) is the greatest author to have written about the Irish peasant and the Ireland of the period immediately preceding it: he enables the reader to think back past the Famine into the culture – particularly the peasant culture – of that time, confused, rich, tortured, bilingual, that made him as a writer.
Enjoying immense popularity during his lifetime, his popularity dwindled but a century after his death it began to revive, not least because of the influence of the Summer School. The lectures given at the School and revised for publication in William Carleton, The Authentic Voice provide ample evidence that he was one of the greatest entertainers of Irish literature in English.
This volume also contains contemporary portraits of Carleton, reproduces previously unpublished letters and documents, a chronology, publication history of his writings, provides fine line illustrations by Sam Craig and detailed maps of the countryside he loved and wrote about, so this is an indispensable book for everyone interested in Carleton and pre-Famine Ireland.
Edited by Gordon Brand, the collection contains contributions by Gordon Brand, Terence Brown, Brian Earls, Peter Denman, Owen Dudley Edwards, Marianne Elliott, Thomas Flanagan, Roy Foster, Maurice Harmon, Seamus Heaney, Eamonn Hughes, Jack Johnston, John Kelly, Declan Kiberd, David Krause, Robin Marsh, John Montague, Pat John Rafferty, Sean Skeffington, Barry Sloan, Norman Vance, and Robert Welch.
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This study surveys the course of verse translation from the Irish, starting with the notorious Macpherson controversy and ending with the publication of George Sigerson’s Bards of the Gael and Gall in 1897. Professor Welch considers some of the problems and challenges relating to the translation of Irish verse into English in the context of translation theory and ideas about cultural differentiation.
He outlines the historical and cultural background of Anglo-Irish literary relations in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the surprising fashion for Celticism at the end of that period. It was this cultural phenomenon that provided the context for the endeavours of Charlotte Brooke and of later translators to render something of the spirit of Gaelic poetry in English verse. Throughout the book, we see again and again the dilemma of poets who must be faithful to the spirit or the form of Irish verse, but who rarely have the ability to capture both.
The relationship between Irish and English in the nineteenth century was, necessarily, a critical one, and the translators were often working at the centre of the crisis, whether they were aware of it or not. As Celticism evolved into nationalism and heroic idealism, these influences can be clearly seen in the development of verse translation from the Irish.
21.6 x 13.8 cm
Although Kate O’Brien is coming to be classed among the most original novelists of this century, her reputation underwent the usual period of eclipse that follows the decease of most writers. Now, just twelve years after her death in 1974, her novels are coming back into favour on both sides of the Atlantic.
At first glance, a romantic realist whose field of operations was the rise of the middle-class from post-Famine Ireland to the second half of the present century, on closer inspection she will be seen to be a subtly feminist writer whose heroines are in search of both freedom and love, freedom as a pre-requisite of love – and education as the first necessity of either.
Highly responsive though she was to the lyrical beauty of the Irish landscape and appreciative of Irish wit and charm, she was, nevertheless, contemptuous of narrow nationalistic claims, and would set Ireland always among the nations of Europe. Long before Europe set up its present Economic Community, of which Ireland in due course became a member state, she saw her country as linked by old associations of religion, history and culture to a continental civilisation.
Readers of a generation new to Kate O’Brien see her as depicting an Ireland they scarcely knew existed, an educated, aspiring, sometimes wealthy middle-class Ireland. On one side of her, just before her beginnings as an artist, lies the wild Ireland of the dispossessed, and on the other the Ireland of what she called the ‘Top People’, whose sole criterion is success in making money, and whom she despised.
This is the first study of Kate O’Brien’s novels as a whole, in which her development as a writer is traced and the underlying themes of her work revealed.
Chosen and Introduced by David B. Eakin and Michael Case
The eighth volume of the Irish Drama Selections series (ISSN 0260-7962), General Editors: Joseph Ronsley and Ann Saddlemyer.
Hardcover ISBN:0-86140-144-1 / 978-0-86140-144-4 £35.00
Paperback ISBN: 0-86140-145-X / 978-0-86140-145-1 £9.95
21.6 x 13.8 cm.
Contains: George Moore's The Strike at Arlingford, The Bending of the Bough, The Coming of Gabrielle, The Passing of the Essenes; and Edward Martyn's The Heather Field, Maeve, The Tale of a Town, bibliographical checklist.
GEORGE MOORE is best known as a master of English prose, but he also wrote plays, usually in collaboration with other authors, and occasionally based on or on the precursors of his own novels, the best known of which are probably Diarmuid and Grania (with W.B.Yeats), The Strike at Arlingford, and The Bending of the Bough (based on Edward Martyn's The Tale of a Town). Apart from the last two, this selection also contains Moore's The Coming of Gabrielle and The Passing of the Essenes.
EDWARD MARTYN was, with W.B.Yeats and Lady Gregory, a founder of the Irish Literary Theatre, the second production of which, opening on 9 May 1899, the day after Yeats's The Countess Cathleen, was his The Heather Field. Apart from this play, the present volume also contains Maeve and The Tale of a Town.
As well as the introduction by David B. Eakin and Michael Case, there are also bibliographical checklists of Moore's and Martyn's works.
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21.6 x 13.8 cm. 200 pp. 1984 Irish Literary Studies series (ISSN 0140-895X) volume 20
The Double Perspective of Yeats’s Aesthetic offers penetrating insights into the poet’s aesthetic principles. These are characterised, Professor Komesu demonstrates, by a polarity of perspective. He argues that Yeats envisaged life as both unity and conflict, and regarded art as an embodiment of both experience and knowledge. The peculiar nature of this Yeatsian polarity is that the conflicting perspectives are not irreconcilably at war, but exist in a complementary relationship, in which one lives the other’s death, and dies the other’s life. This polarity sometimes led the poet into a logical impasse out of which he tried to struggle in vain. But from it, nonetheless, he gained the dramatic force and tension which enabled him to create a world of poetic vision and experience, one with a magnitude which is all its own. Professor Komesu finds this polarised perspective inherent in the literary theory of the West, constituting a discernible tradition that shapes such divergent artistic movements as Classicism and Romanticism. He contends that Yeats’s place must be found within this tradition.
2. Knowledge or Experience
3. The Saint or the Artist
4. Brahman or Daimon
5. The Flower or the Gyre
6. The Flower That Never Bloomed
Chosen and Introduced by Janet Egleson Dunleavy and Gareth Dunleavy
The seventh volume of the Irish Drama Selections series (ISSN 0260-7962), General Editors: Joseph Ronsley and Ann Saddlemyer.
Hardcover ISBN: 0-86140-095-X / 987-0-86140-095-9 £25.00
Paperback ISBN: 0-86140-096-8 / 978-0-86140-096-6 £8.99
21.6 x 13.8 cm 192 pp. 1991
Contains: The Twisting of the Rope, The Marriage, The Lost Saint, The Nativity, King James, The Bursting of the Bubble, The Tinker and the Sheeog, The Matchmaking, The School-master, bibliographical checklist. This volume publishes the original Irish language texts with Lady Gregory's translations.
When Douglas Hyde was elected in 1938 as first President of Ireland, he brought to this last of many rôles the prestige of an important scholar, a noted author and a leader of the cultural nationalist movement. Born in 1860, the son of the Church of Ireland rector at Frenchpark, Co. Roscommon, he grew up among the local people, learning Irish and listening to folk tales, which he began to record and which proved valuable experience when writing dialogue for his plays. After study at Trinity he became a founder member of the Gaelic League, formed in 1893 to preserve and promote the Irish language, and he was its President for twenty-two years.
Hyde was struck by the idea of promoting the Irish language through drama, especially puppet shows and short plays. In the hands of a writer less gifted in mimicry, with a less-developed sense of humour, the results of an effort undertaken for admittedly propagandist purposes might have been deadly. In his hands they ushered in a new dramatic tradition. That his one-act plays, classics of the modern Irish theatre, continue to be performed today, both in their original Irish and in Lady Gregory's English translations is but one indication of the versatility of his talent and his appeal to both popular and artistic tastes. Eight one-act plays are reproduced here with Lady Gregory's translations on the facing pages.
More than three decades after his death, the inevitable reassessment is under way and new stock must be taken of his rôles as folklorist, poet, translator and playwright, each assumed at a carefully chosen time for what it could contribute to the goal of his life: first the cultural, then the social and political independence of Ireland.
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21.6 x 13.8 cm. xvi, 349 pp. 2006 Irish Literary Studies series (ISSN 0140-895X) volume 51
In 1922, James Stephens said: ‘we shall talk like Irishmen, or we are done for – we shall think like Europeans, or we are done for.’ In 1948, a later poet and critic, Robert Farren, recognised that Yeats had achieved at least one of those conditions when he said that he had ‘brought the Irishman’s voice – its inflections, cadences and idioms – into verse.’
The Irish brogue has often been considered as merely an ornamental adjunct to speech without any realisation of its value to poetry written in Ireland. But since poetic forms are based on the usual speech patterns of a country – its everyday talk – then the crucial significance of the patterns of Irish speech to the rhythms of poetry should be identified and explained.
Yeats, the Master of Sound is such a study. The author traces Irish speech rhythms back to Gaelic and, in this context, explains what Irish poets owe to their local accent – Heaney, in particular, has acknowledged such a debt. Using the American poet Robert Frost’s concept of the ‘sound of sense’ as a key, Dr Devine explores the rhythms of Anglo-Irish poetry and their stating of a formalised emotion through such traditions as the amhrán (Irish song metre) and the ancient method of singing known as sean-nós. Yeats was to build on these connected influences, adding a theatrically defiant tone to patterns of assonance and rhyme to attain an ‘elaborate rhythm’ – again a concept and practice derived from the Gaelic.
This book shows how the Irish speaking voice is in thrall to a language which has endured for over 2,000 years and which, by its shaping of the rhythms of that voice, continues to influence those of the island’s poets who write in English today.
Brian Devine received his MA from University College Dublin, and DPhil from the University of Ulster, Coleraine. He is currently working on a Gaelic grammar and a study of the poetry of Patrick Kavanagh, entitled The Awkward Visionary.