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Spooky

Terry Eagleton, 7 July 1994

The Collected Letters of W.B. Yeats. Vol. III: 1901-1904 
edited by John Kelly and Ronald Schuchard.
Oxford, 781 pp., £35, May 1994, 0 19 812683 2
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Modern Irish Literature: Sources and Founders 
by Vivian Mercier.
Oxford, 381 pp., £30, April 1994, 0 19 812074 5
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... Tables of the Law was a literary work, we might well suspect that here was one greater than Moses. Vivian Mercier, one of the leading luminaries of Anglo-Irish literature, died in 1989, and his widow, the novelist Eilís Dillon, has assembled Modern Irish Literature: Sources and Founders from some of his essays. Most students these days tend to ...

Celtic Revisionism

Patrick Parrinder, 24 July 1986

A Short History of Irish Literature 
by Seamus Deane.
Hutchinson, 282 pp., £15, March 1986, 0 09 161360 4
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The Peoples of Ireland 
by Liam de Paor.
Hutchinson, 344 pp., £15, April 1986, 9780091561406
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Portrait of Ireland 
by Liam de Paor.
Rainbow, 192 pp., £13.95, May 1986, 1 85120 004 5
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The Complete Dramatic Works 
by Samuel Beckett.
Faber, 476 pp., £12.50, April 1986, 0 571 13821 7
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The Beckett Country: An Exhibition for Samuel Beckett’s 80th Birthday 
by Eoin O’Brien and James Knowlson.
Black Cat, 97 pp., £5, May 1986, 0 948050 03 9
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... qualities, and they offer an obvious context for his own art. Do we have here – as Vivian Mercier, for one, has implied – an unbroken tradition of genuinely Irish expression reflecting the national character? De Paor, for all his appealing mixture of archaeological enthusiasm and scholarly caution, seems to me to imply that we do. Seamus ...

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