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    John McGahern, Post-Revival Literature and Irish Cultural Criticism


    Van Der Ziel, Stanley (2017) John McGahern, Post-Revival Literature and Irish Cultural Criticism. New Hibernia Review, 21 (1). pp. 123-142. ISSN 1092-3977

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    Abstract

    John McGahern’s attitude to many Irish writers from the first half of the twen - tieth century was often ambivalent. He instinctively disliked and distrusted the overt polemical stance adopted by many writers in the decades immediately fol - lowing Independence, even if he could find in those same writers qualities of style or vision that he admired and, on occasion, even echoed in his own fiction. His relationship with the poet Patrick Kavanagh is a case in point. As early as 1959 he wrote to Michael McLaverty that, “Kavanagh is an irresponsible critic and a careless poet. It is a pity he doesn’t take more care with his poems because he is richly gifted.” 1 On the one hand, McGahern deplored Kavanagh’s part in the brash literary culture that existed in Dublin in the 1940 s and 1950 s. He later im - mortalized his youthful experience, both of being subjected to what he described in an autobiographical essay from the 1990 s as “the doubtful joy of Kavanagh’s company,” and of the general atmosphere of that imaginatively and intellectually stifling Dublin-bohemian milieu, by re-imagining it in his fiction. 2 Such stories about rural drifters in the Hibernian metropolis as “My Love, My Umbrella” and “Bank Holiday” draw on the future novelist’s youthful experiences of literary coteries in Dublin during his twenties, as does the brilliant satire on midcentury Dublin literary culture that is The Pornographer ( 1979 ).

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: John McGahern; Post-Revival Literature; Irish Cultural Criticism;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts,Celtic Studies and Philosophy > School of English, Media & Theatre Studies > English
    Item ID: 9105
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1353/nhr.2017.0008
    Depositing User: Stanley Van Der Ziel
    Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2018 15:19
    Journal or Publication Title: New Hibernia Review
    Publisher: Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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