In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

BOOK REVIEWS lence' and totalitarian government to replace a decadent democracy.... Democratic art had been rejected long ago by Yeats; democratic politics were now condemned by association." This aspect of Yeats's politics is usually mentioned by his critics as passing and insignificant. Foster's book, however, is too scholarly and too meticulous to do so. This is its strength and its shortcoming. A great help to Yeatsian scholars, it will also be their undoing. After this book, the myth of Yeats will never be the same. LJIIJANA INA GJURGJAN University of Zagreb, Croatia Prodigal Wit The Poems and Plays of Oliver St. John Gogarty. A. Norman Jeffares, ed. Gerrards Cross, Bucks: Colin Smythe, 2001. Distributed by Oxford University Press in U.S. 861pp. $74.00 GEORGE MOORE once referred to his friend Oliver St. John Gogarty (1878-1957) as "Gogarty, the arch-mocker, author of all the jokes that enable us to live in Dublin." And there are jokes, puns, witticisms and mockery aplenty in Gogarty's works—but also much more. Long out of print, his poems and plays have been reissued in this one-volume edition, a weighty compendium that reprints the Collected Poems (1951), poems from other collections, poems intended for publication , poems privately printed or published in anthologies, journals or newspapers, poems and (outrageously ribald) limericks from Gogarty's notebooks and letters to friends, and unpublished poetry (including poems attributed to him) contained in manuscripts and typescripts held in libraries and private collections. The latter, writes A. Norman Jeffares in his fine introduction, provide "unique insights into a Dublin that has almost vanished from personal knowledge." There are also four complete plays as well as one attributed to Gogarty and fragments of another . The scholarly apparatus is thorough and includes detailed explanatory notes, notes on the text (sources, variant readings, etc.), and indexes of titles and of first lines. This hefty tome of 861 pages will enlighten those critics who, as Jeffares points out, continue to see Gogarty "as if he were merely Joyce's malicious literary construct in Ulysses, Buck Mulligan ." Indeed, Gogarty the arch-mocker, in addition to being a poet and playwright, was also an Irish Free State senator, a champion racing cyclist , an archer, an aviator—he once talked W. B. Yeats into flying with 217 ELT 48 : 2 2005 him—and a successful ear, nose and throat surgeon (he removed Yeats's tonsils in 1920). This edition also reprints prefaces by Gogarty's friends Yeats, A.E., and Horace Reynolds. The latter recalls riding in Gogarty's small roadster at breakneck speed—to Gogarty's delight—and dubs him "the most joyously witty man in Europe." Along with "Rabelaisian," "wit" is the word most frequently used to describe Gogarty's work, especially his poetry . In his introduction to Gogarty's Wild Apples (1929), for example, A.E. refers to Gogarty's "prodigal wit," while Surpassing Wit (1979) is the title of James Carens's study of Gogarty's work. Gogarty was an excellent raconteur, and in what Jeffares calls the "oral conversational culture " of turn-of-the-century Dublin, "the witty put-down, the scabrous aside," irreverent remarks and clever bon mots went the round of the city's closely-knit society. They are also to be found in Gogarty's poetry. A glance at the contents pages of this new edition reveals that Gogarty was adept in almost every genre: ode, address, satire, elegy, parody, limerick, ballad, song, sonnet, epitaph, epigram, panegyric, threnody and lullaby. Just as varied is the range of topics: there are verses on fishing, celibacy and psychoanalysis; poems about Virgil, Rabelais, Catullus and Cervantes; poems on Augustus John, George Moore, Lady Gregory, Yeats, Joyce and Robert Louis Stevenson. There are addresses "To a Mushroom," "To a Trout," and "To a Moth," as well as "A Report on the Sexless Behaviour of Certain Microscopic Immortals" and a parody of Keats, "On First Looking into Kraft-Ebing's Psychopathia Sexualis." I'll wager that Gogarty has the distinction of being the sole author ever to pen lines on "The Prostate." It is no surprise that many of Gogarty's hitherto unpublished verses were too obscene or blasphemous...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 217-220
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Will Be Archived 2021
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.