THE WRITERS: A Sense of Ireland by Andrew & Peter Fallon--Eds. Carpenter

THE WRITERS: A Sense of Ireland

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New work"" by 44 Irish poets and prose-writers-luxuriantly mounted (with a photo of each writer) and stingily represented. True, some of the poetry is fine, especially work by Brendan Kennelly, Frank Ormsby, Seán O Tuama, and Mícheal O Siadhail (while work by such better-knowns as Seamus Heaney and John Montague is of lesser quality--almost-obligatory work given in, perhaps, as a favor). The poets, though, at least get the chance to include two or three whole poems; the prose writers must be content with snippets--from novels and even from short stories. The two scant pages of Beckett fail to yield so much as a flavor; the encapsulated short stories by Neil Jordan, Mary Lavin, and William Trevor seem good--but they're too cut-up to judge. They stand on the page, it seems, as mere affidavits attesting that the writer photographed (quite attractively by Mike Bunn) can in fact handle words. What something so absurdly space-cheap then becomes is a kind of literary smorgasbord, proving little about Irish writing today beyond the sartorial panache of many of the writers.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1980
Publisher: Braziller