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Out of the Closet

Richard Altick, 20 August 1981

The Private Case: An Annotated Bibliography of the Private Case Erotica Collection in the British Library 
by Patrick Kearney.
Jay Landesman, 354 pp., £45, July 1981, 0 905150 24 4
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... not much assisted by the usual dictionaries of anonymous and pseudonymous literature, which is why Kearney’s title-author index is especially valuable – though it also represents a dead end, because few of the owners of the ‘real’ names have ever qualified for admission to biographical dictionaries. The most intensive and extravagant use of disguise ...

God’s Gift to Australia

C.K. Stead, 24 September 1992

Woman of an Inner Sea 
by Thomas Keneally.
Hodder, 284 pp., £14.99, July 1992, 0 340 53148 7
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... courageous, though not always as successful. I find it hard to enjoy the florid extravagances of Patrick White’s Voss, while respecting the attempt to make word match fact. Xavier Herbert tried to meet size with size, insisting that his Poor Fellow My Country, close on a million words, be published in a single hardback volume which one day may kill a frail ...

Playboys of the GPO

Colm Tóibín, 18 April 1996

Inventing Ireland: The Literature of the Modern Nation 
by Declan Kiberd.
Cape, 719 pp., £20, November 1995, 0 224 04197 5
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... with reverence about the central figures in this drama – Yeats, Douglas Hyde, Lady Gregory, Patrick Pearse – and, perhaps more significantly, manages to recruit figures such as Wilde, Joyce and Beckett, placing them posthumously in the pantheon of post-colonial writers who, by revolting into style, created a nation. He wants everyone who put pen to ...

Ireland at Swim

Denis Donoghue, 21 April 1983

The Crane Bag Book of Irish Studies, 1977-1981 
edited by M.P. Hederman and R. Kearney, with a preface by Seamus Heaney.
Blackwater Press/Colin Smythe, 930 pp., £25, October 1982, 9780905471136
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A Colder Eye: The Modern Irish Writers 
by Hugh Kenner.
Knopf, 352 pp., $16.95, April 1983, 0 394 42225 2
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... of keeping out of McDonald’s. The Crane Bag has much brooding about myth, especially Richard Kearney’s essay ‘Myth and Terror’, in which he resorts to Mircea Eliade and Paul Ricoeur to understand and, apparently, to pacify the mythic repetitions – of sacrifice, blood and apocalypse – he finds in modern Ireland. There is also much medition on ...

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