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Terry Eagleton

7 July 1994
The Collected Letters of W.B. Yeats. Vol. III: 1901-1904 
edited by John Kelly and Ronald Schuchard.
Oxford, 781 pp., £35, May 1994, 0 19 812683 2
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Modern Irish Literature: Sources and Founders 
by Vivian Mercier.
Oxford, 381 pp., £30, April 1994, 0 19 812074 5
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... letter by remarking: ‘I return Tables of the Law, corrected in pencil.’ If we did not know that Tables of the Law was a literary work, we might well suspect that here was one greater than Moses. VivianMercier, one of the leading luminaries of Anglo-Irish literature, died in 1989, and his widow, the novelist Eilís Dillon, has assembled Modern Irish Literature: Sources and Founders from some of his ...

Celtic Revisionism

Patrick Parrinder

24 July 1986
A Short History of Irish Literature 
by Seamus Deane.
Hutchinson, 282 pp., £15, March 1986, 0 09 161360 4
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The Peoples of Ireland 
by Liam de Paor.
Hutchinson, 344 pp., £15, April 1986, 9780091561406
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Portrait of Ireland 
by Liam de Paor.
Rainbow, 192 pp., £13.95, May 1986, 1 85120 004 5
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The Complete Dramatic Works 
by Samuel Beckett.
Faber, 476 pp., £12.50, April 1986, 0 571 13821 7
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The Beckett Country: An Exhibition for Samuel Beckett’s 80th Birthday 
by Eoin O’Brien and James Knowlson.
Black Cat, 97 pp., £5, May 1986, 0 948050 03 9
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... been argued, to the fiction of Joyce and Jonathan Swift. Joyce himself was a firm believer in such ‘Celtic’ qualities, and they offer an obvious context for his own art. Do we have here – as VivianMercier, for one, has implied – an unbroken tradition of genuinely Irish expression reflecting the national character? De Paor, for all his appealing mixture of archaeological enthusiasm and ...

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