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Monday, October 29, 2007

The Auld Sod

Barra O Seaghdha reviews Gerald Dawe’s The Proper Word: Collected Criticism in the new Poetry Ireland Review:

In his postscript, [Gerald] Dawe mentions the contemporaries – the women writers, in particular – he has not written about. He says it is time for a fresh critical appraisal of twentieth-century poetry in English and Irish. He also foresees a broader English-language and European perspective on Irish writing. But already O’Connor and O Faolain had an easy command of European literature, we have been in the European Union for over three decades, and it is quite a while since debate on women and writing in Ireland opened up. Well established by now, Irish Studies becomes nothing but a complacent, self-regulating canton without sustain comparative analysis. Furthermore, for twenty years, as in many of the essays in the first section of the book, Gerald Dawe has been calling for greater honesty and higher critical standards in Irish literary culture. These calls risk resembling endlessly aspirational election manifestoes when not backed up by ideas and assessments that might stimulate and sometimes upset fellow-inhabitants of the canton. The insight in The Proper Word are Dawe’s own; the weaknesses of the book frequently point to problems in the Irish intellectual world in general.

1 comment:

Mark Granier said...

Like the tag. Chucky Our Law, eh?