Abstract

Poems (1934) by Irish modernist Thomas MacGreevy provocatively presents the unspeakable—his WWI experience and his ambiguous sexuality—in order to challenge the Irish Republicanism and Catholicism that he is known to support. His challenge to contemporary political, ethical, and aesthetic norms overlaps with Samuel Beckett's work at this time, particularly as both writers turn to forbidden sexuality, politically motivated executions, and the aftermath of historical trauma to criticize the Irish Free State. MacGreevy's unpublished letters and poems, and a draft of a memoir, reveal what he strategically omits from his poems. But unpublished work, no less than his published work, importantly refuses settled determination of the religious, political, and personal meanings of his poetry.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1464
Print ISSN
0022-281X
Pages
pp. 130-150
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-12
Open Access
No
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