Patricia Craig, 19 February 1987
Show More Poetry in the Wars by Edna Longley.
Bloodaxe, 264 pp., £12.95, November 1986, 0 906427 74 6Show More
We Irish: The Selected Essays of Denis Donoghue Harvester, 275 pp., £25, November 1986, 0 7108 1011 3Show More The Battle of The Books by W.J. McCormack.
Lilliput, 94 pp., £3.95, October 1986, 0 946640 13 0Show More
The Twilight of Ascendancy by Mark Bence-Jones.
Constable, 327 pp., £14.95, January 1987, 0 09 465490 5Show More
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl edited by John Quinn.
Methuen, 144 pp., £8.95, November 1986, 0 413 14350 3Show More
“... Wars and battles: these words, appearing prominently in the titles of two of the books under consideration, might give the impression that poetry, or criticism, or the criticism of poetry, is a belligerent business. It doesn’t stop with the book titles, either: the chapter on Edna Longley in W.J. McCormack’s short and contentious study of Irish cultural debate requires us to attend to ‘the reaction from Ulster’, and sums it up thus: ‘Fighting or Writing?’ This humorously echoes the famous anti-Home Rule poster with its caption, ‘Ulster will fight and Ulster will be right,’ while referring specifically to the critical reception of the ‘Field Day’ pamphlets (nine to date), which deal with questions – thorny questions – of identity and cultural heritage in Ireland ...”