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Seamus Heaney : the shaping spirit /
edited by Catharine Malloy and Phyllis Carey.
Newark [Del.] : University of Delaware Press, c1996.
199 p. : ill., port. ; 24 cm.
0874135818 (alk. paper)
More Details
Newark [Del.] : University of Delaware Press, c1996.
0874135818 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1996-11-01:
The editors intend this volume to illuminate the "Protean nature" of Heaney's "shaping" process and to "relate those processes to larger political, social, and aesthetic contexts." Beneath the often elaborate terminology one can find a distinction made much earlier by Coleridge in Lectures on Shakespeare, i.e., that between organic form (Heaney's "shaping") imposed from within and mechanical form ("larger political, social and aesthetic contexts") imposed from without. In this regard the book departs from previous studies of Heaney, e.g., Seamus Heaney, ed. by Harold Bloom (1986), and Seamus Heaney: A Collection of Critical Essays, ed. by Elmer Andrews (1992). The issue of organic and mechanical forms is not cleanly resolved in this volume, which does not explain how Heaney can "shape" his forms and yet be powerfully influenced by his cultural environment. Another problem: D'Arcy O'Brien's essay, "Ways of Seeing Things," decries "what passes for literary criticism" because it is "so much affected by the need to explain the obvious [in poetry] to undergraduates." Does not this volume, in its truly learned analysis, do precisely that? If Heaney's poetry is obvious (and no less excellent for that), why this often profound analysis? Still, this work is provocative and advances Heaney's reputation as a major poet. Graduate through faculty. F. L. Ryan Stonehill College
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 1996
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Unpaid Annotation
This book is a collection of critical essays on the poetry of Seamus Heaney. Its central critical concern is Heaney's artistic "shaping." The essays are loosely arranged in a chronological pattern corresponding to Heaney's poetic career.
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviationsp. 9
Acknowledgmentsp. 11
Introductionp. 13
Powers of Earth and Visions of Airp. 27
Moments of Misremembrance: A Poem and Its Audiencesp. 34
"Inscribed in Sheets": Seamus Heaney's Scribal Matrixp. 47
Seamus Heaney's Anti-Transcendental Corncrakep. 71
Fusions in Heaney's Northp. 82
Violence and the Sacred in Seamus Heaney's Northp. 91
"Station Island" and the Poet's Progressp. 106
Aesthetic and Cultural Memory in Joyce and Heaneyp. 120
Heaney and Havel: Parables of Politicsp. 137
Seamus Heaney's Seeing Things: "Retracing the path back..."p. 157
Ways of Seeing Thingsp. 174
List of Contributorsp. 193
Indexp. 195
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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