We Irish : the selected essays of Denis Donoghue.
Donoghue, Denis.
Brighton, Sussex : Harvester Press, 1986-
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Brighton, Sussex : Harvester Press, 1986-
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Includes bibliographical references.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1986-09-15:
Of the 29 essays, lectures, and book reviews gathered here, 3 are new; the rest first appeared elsewhere, mainly in periodicals. Yeats and Joyce occupy the first half of the volume; the remaining pieces discuss Irish politics and culture, including a range of 20th-century literary figures: Beckett, O'Casey, Synge, O'Connor, O'Faolain, Clarke, Heaney, and others. Donoghue examines the way these writers are both burdened and liberated by images of their country's turbulent past. His insights are provocative and resonant, his style engaging. He is especially skillful as a reviewer, ranging widely over his subjects without slighting the book at hand. Recommended for modern literature collections. Michael Hennessy, English Dept. Southwest Texas State Univ., San Marcos
Appeared in Choice on 1987-03:
Donoghue here combines three new essays with 25 scholarly pieces and review articles published during the last 20 years. The book is, as we have learned to expect from him, learned, interesting, and handsomely written; libraries interested in Ireland and Irish literature will want to have it. Following sections of four essays each on Yeats and Joyce, there is one on social and political occurrences, and a last one offering a dozen lively assessments of Irish writers. Commended are Maud Gonne, Deidre Bair's work on Beckett, Thomas J.B. Flanagan's The Year of the French (1979), and Heaney's Sweeney Astray (CH, Sep '84); we are told why Sean O'Faolain is a ``master.'' On the down side are placed George Moore, Austin Clarke, and-fascinatingly-Sean O'Casey, all for good Eliotic reasons. The best essays are on Yeats-the neo-American Donoghue strikes fewer original sparks when dealing with the ``Europeanized'' Joyce. Donoghue is a major critic because he goes successfully at hard questions: Yeats's mystical system, Finnegans Wake, Irish language and religion, Trinity versus University College, etc. His occasional crotchets of method and style, his Kennerlike nuggets of learning (e.g., that the ``dappled seaborne clouds'' of Joyce's Portrait originate in a forgotten geological tract of 1857) add agreeable savor. A good acquisition for all reader levels.-R.J. Thompson, Canisius College
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Booklist, September 1986
Library Journal, September 1986
Choice, March 1987
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