Louis MacNeice is one of the most important writers of the twentieth century and a forefather of modern Irish poetry. This powerful new analysis of his life and work explores his poetry, prose and drama as part of a biographical re-evaluation. Christopher J. Fauske places the poet’s relationship with Ireland, the Second World War, his father and the key women in his life at its centre, unravelling the poetic and personal conflicts, and challenging earlier critical interpretations of this luminary of Irish writing.
Fauske’s meticulous study engages with these themes while highlighting the importance of heeding MacNeice’s own heroic directive: ‘Let every adverse force converge’, which informs his deeply questioning poetry and is further illuminated by a fascinating review of his penetrating literary criticism and celebrated radio work. The poet’s lifelong wariness of belonging and sense of displacement within a ‘between world’ are captured here, yet so too are the life-affirming writings which make MacNeice unique among modern Irish poets.
Table of Contents
1. Louis MacNeice
2. Historical and Cultural Contexts
3. The Apologies
4. The Ladies in his Life Lingered
5. The Early Works
6. Autumn Journal
7. The War Years
8. Surviving the Peace
9. The Last Test
About the Author
Christopher J. Fauske is Professor of Communications at Salem State University and is the author of Jonathan Swift and the Church of Ireland (Irish Academic Press, 2002) amongst other publications on Irish literature and history.