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Gloomy/Cheerful

Tom Shippey: Norse mythology, 3 January 2008

From Asgard to Valhalla: The Remarkable History of the Norse Myths 
by Heather O’Donoghue.
Tauris, 224 pp., £20, April 2007, 978 1 84511 357 5
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... it into Latin in 1665, although interest in such subjects had been stirring in Scandinavia, as Heather O’Donoghue points out, for a hundred years before that. Just the same, Shakespeare, for instance, can’t have known anything at all about Norse myth. Hamlet may, as O’Donoghue claims, go back to the story of ...

A Bit Like Gulliver

Stephanie Burt: Seamus Heaney’s Seamus Heaney, 11 June 2009

Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney 
by Dennis O’Driscoll.
Faber, 524 pp., £22.50, November 2008, 978 0 571 24252 8
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The Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney 
edited by Bernard O’Donoghue.
Cambridge, 239 pp., £45, December 2008, 978 0 521 54755 0
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... of poems about rural places – ‘pastoral, anti-pastoral, bucolic, eclogue, Doric’, as Bernard O’Donoghue writes in the Cambridge Companion to Seamus Heaney – and Heaney uses them all, though pastoral and georgic, visionary meadow and labour-intensive hay-baling to him seem complementary, even continuous. Mossbawn ‘sounds very idyllic, but it was a ...

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