The Literature of Northern Ireland: A Reinterpretation of the Poetry and Prose of Northern Ireland

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This book provides a comprehensive and critical review of Derek Mahon's poetry and criticism from the 1960s to the present day (2019). As well as providing one of the very few detailed studies of Mahon's work in English, French, and more, it provides an entirely new approach to reading, more properly re-reading, his various publications in accordance with the belief that a specifically symptomic reading - lecture symptomale - might help us to better elicit, and identify, those gaps, lapses, and silences, that give Mahon's writing its unique characteristics as part of a literature that has been, and is, largely determined by the unusual circumstances and colonial realities that continue to prevail in Northern Ireland.


"The book's rich discussion encompasses numerous other poets and critics and highlights the fact that there are 'few if any references' to Catholics in Mahon's own poetry and such references as there are say 'absolutely nothing about Catholics in the North of today'. Hence the appeal to symptomatic reading and the need to identify what George Watson speaks of as 'imaginative blanks.' In all this Belfast is at the centre of the picture. A bleak place, it too is seen differently from either side of the divide, and Mc Elroy explores these different sectarian narratives."
Brendan Duddy, SJ,
Milltown Park, Dublin

Table of Contents





Chapter 1: Nostaglias

Chapter 2: A Place Out of Time

Chapter 3: The Last of the Fire Kings

Chapter 4: The Hudson Letter

Chapter 5: Adaptations

Chapter 6: The Chimeras

Chapter 7: The Apotheosis of Tins

Chapter 8: A Disused Shed in Co. Wexford

Chapter 9: Bird Sanctuary

Chapter 10: Day Trip to Donegal

Works by Derek Mahon

Select Criticism on Mahon



Other Literary Criticism Books