Louis MacNeice and the Poetry of the 1930s

BookLouis MacNeice and the Poetry of the 1930s

Louis MacNeice and the Poetry of the 1930s

Writers and Their Work

2009

February 1st, 2009

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This study investigates Louis MacNeice in two major central strands. Firstly, it explores MacNeice’s ambiguous positioning as an Irish poet. As the Ulster-born son of a Home Rule supporting Protestant bishop, MacNeice straddles rival cultural and ideological territories without ever fully committing to either. A sense of dislocation and homelessness underwrites MacNeice’s poetry which makes it resistant to nationalistic appropriation and encourages his readers to see him more as an international poet. Secondly, this study presents MacNeice as a critically self-conscious writer; his readiness to explain his work helps to account for his influence on later poets. By virtue of the clarity of his explanations of his own procedures, MacNeice offered his successors workable templates of how his poetry might be written.

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Author Information

Richard Brown is a Lecturer at The Open University. His publications include The New Poet: Novelty and Tradition in Spenser’s Complaints (Liverpool University Press, 1999) and Debating Twentieth-Century Literature: The Cherry Orchard to Labyrinths (Routledge, 2004).

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Cover1
Half Title2
Title Page4
Dedication 5
Copyright5
Contents6
Acknowledgements7
Chronology9
Abbreviations12
Introduction: 'Our End is Life'14
1 MacNeice and the Modern Everyman23
2 Modern Hopes: The Poetry of the 1930s46
3 A grain of Salt: The Later 1930s73
4 So What and What Matter? Poetry and Wartime97
5 Waiting for the Thaw: The Later MacNeice120
Afterword: 'To speak of an end is to begin'143
Notes147
Select Bibliography160
Index166