Thomas Kinsella: Designing for the Exact Needs

24.9565.00

Maurice Harmon

This comprehensive study interprets Thomas Kinsella’s extraordinary progress from lyric poems to dark laments of individual isolation and helplessness in the modern world. His work, which has been closely tied to Dublin city, expresses his engagement with Irish life and culture. His involvement with Irish history is demonstrated in his extensive translations from Irish literature. But he has not limited himself to Irish themes.

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This comprehensive study interprets Thomas Kinsella’s extraordinary progress from lyric poems to dark laments of individual isolation and helplessness in the modern world. His work, which has been closely tied to Dublin city, expresses his engagement with Irish life and culture. His involvement with Irish history is demonstrated in his extensive translations from Irish literature. But he has not limited himself to Irish themes. He is also a universal poet who has explored Jungian archetypes, psychological stress and the notion of meaninglessness and of living on the edge. In his persistent search for understanding he has examined the effects of evil, whether expressed in man’s proclivity for destruction or the reality of death. Deprived of a community of shared values and the reassurances of philosophy or religion, he has conducted a systematic investigation of the question of causality and responsibility in the human and divine spheres. His poems dramatise issues through narrative, elegy, allegory, and myth and commemorate love, ceremony, natural beauty and creativity itself.

Table of Contents

Part I: Poet of Many Voices

Introduction

  1. The Full Infection
  2. Ordeal after Ordeal
  3. In the Yolk of One’s Being

Part II: Style and Substance

Introduction

  1. The Entire Fabric
  2. Song of the Night

Part III: Translations: From Paganism to Christianity

Introduction

  1. Translations: The Táin and The New Oxford Book of Irish Verse
  2. An Duanire. 1600-1900: Poems of the Dispossessed

Part IV: Tales of the Dispossessed

Introduction

  1. A Local Watchfulness
  2. Gnats out of Nothing
  3. The Inadequate Man

About the Author

Maurice Harmon is Professor Emeritus of Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama at University College Dublin. A respected and internationally known scholar with an extensive bibliography of published work, he has held a number of professorships in universities in America and Europe.

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