SEAN O'CASEY: The Man and His Work by David Krause

SEAN O'CASEY: The Man and His Work

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In commemoration of O'Casey's fast approaching 80th birthday, David Krause has written a warm and intelligent appraisal of O'Casey's life and work. Here is a rounded portrait of the slum-born child, one of five surviving in a family of thirteen, but afflicted with a serious early eye infection. Until his fortieth year O'Casey took an active part in Ireland's struggles. He was a follower of Jim Larkin, labor leader, rather than part of the Irish cultural movement, as is evident in his fascinating autobiography. Then and always he identified himself with the proletariat, and even when the Abbey Theatre was putting on successive plays of his, O'Casey worked at hod-carrying or brick layers' jobs. Yeats and Lady Gregory gave him great and early encouragement, out a crisis was reached when the Abbey Theatre turned down The Silver Tassie. Mr. Krause andles fairly and well this shattering incident, making quite clear how Yeats, at that particular point in his own development, could not like O'Casey's robust and tempestuous nature. It is to the credit of both that ultimately they buried the hatchet. Each had sincere admiration for the other's genius. With O'Casey's move to England, a change came over his nature and work. He became interested in expressionistic forms and stressed the omic accent. Mr. Krause's frame of reference is large and mature enough to take in the aradoxical quality of life. Without being a chronological biography, this places O'Casey in his setting in Ireland and England. It is an estimable work, which should be welcomed y O'Casey students and others interested in the drama and in good critical writing related to it.

Pub Date: Aug. 8th, 1960
Publisher: Macmillan