Brian Moore and the Meaning of the Past: An Irish Novelist Re-Imagines History

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Critics of the Irish novelist, Brian Moore (1921-1999), have largely concentrated upon his use of faith and realism; although such examinations have illuminated his novels in intriguing and useful ways, much has been neglected by viewing his work solely from these perspectives. The sheer variety of Moore’s work discourages a single viewpoint because his oeuvre refuses classification, be that through narrative mode, his use of religion, or his varied use of setting. The approach of this book, which is the first of its kind, examines how history influences Moore’s texts as well as how it codifies his individual characters. By the end of his career, Brian Moore was rewriting history in order to create new narratives that explored colonialism, identity, religion, and the intersection between differing interpretations of the past. In all of these cases, a careful examination of history opens up the texts to new readings. This critical analysis examines Brian Moore as a writer who was heavily invested in the representation and the meaning of the past.


“Fortunately Dr. Patrick Hicks can bring to this, the first major study which takes historical account of the full range of Moore’s work, an unusual array of appropriate qualifications ... It would be rash to say that this book will be the last word on Moore, but it is an important and authoritative contribution to the growing body of Moore criticism. It should stimulate and inform further discussion of a fascinating and important writer.” - Professor Norman Vance, Department of English, University of Sussex

“Dr. Hicks write with a grace and clarity that are in short supply these days. While it is obvious that he is well-versed in current critical theory, his critical writing is remarkably free of impenetrable jargon ... Dr. Hicks understands the complexity of Moore’s treatment of history, especially the role of accident in history.” – Professor Edward Hagen, Department of English, Western Connecticut State University

“Not only is Dr. Hicks well-grounded in the works of his predecessors in the field of Moore studies, but he brings fresh perspectives, derived from more recent critical theories, to his examination of Moore’s work. His book will re-ignite the field.” – Dr. Eamonn Wall, Smurfit-Stone Professor of Irish Studies, University of Missouri

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