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this reader as a remarkable achievement. One still reels from the amount of information conveyed in so modest an essay, an experience often repeated in the chapters covering the time from the Famine onward, periods about which, however , much more obviously is known. Brian Ó Cuív, in “Ireland in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries” is certainly correct to note, that these centuries were “an age of renaissance and progress in Ireland,” but the sense conveyed by him of an unspoiled world of idyllic medieval Celtic insularity now seems slightly strained. Fr. Martin’s portrayal of the Norman entry into Ireland possibly would make its case with less certainty about the “plan” of the Norman intrusion into Ireland were it rewritten today. Concerning Henry VIII’s attempts at Reformation in Ireland , in “The Tudor Conquest” so, too, G. A. Hayes-McCoy’s observations that the “clash [between Henry’s new system and the Irish Church] speedily became a breach” might be nuanced somewhat in a revision. In this context, Patrick Lynch’s frosty Republican orthodoxy in “The Irish Free State and the Republic of Ireland, 1921–66,” now seems slightly jarring, given the revisionist stances of most of the other contributors. The only author of two chapters, “The Age of Daniel O’Connell” and “Ireland 1966–82,” J. H. Whyte conveys a bewildered sense of faded optimism in the latter chapter concerning what “might have been” in Northern Ireland ca. 1966 which some will find curious. Given the fact that the radio lectures constituting the greater part of this book were prepared by twenty-one different individuals, it is remarkable how much continuity there is between the various “adjacent” contributions. The cumulative narrative still flows very well indeed. These essays remind one of the old Dublin Historical Association. Irish history pamphlets from a quarter century ago—by many of the same authors—in that they are such substantive, yet so accessible and short introductions to their subjects. One can only hope that Radio Telefís Éireann will inaugurate a New Course of Irish History lecture series in the near future. —John Davenport The Prince of the Quotidian, by Paul Muldoon. Oldcastle: The Gallery Press, 1994, IR£5.95, paper, £10.95, cloth. Goldfish in a Baby Bath, by Áine Miller. Dublin: Poolbeg Press/Dufour Editions , 1994. In the New Year of 1992 Paul Muldoon decided to write a poem every day. He was newly arrived at Princeton where he had become director of the Creative Writing Program. The result is this forty-two page poetry journal. If the project sounds Louis MacNiece-like, that is no coincidence. Muldoon, more than any other Ulster writer, has inherited many of the qualities and stylistic mannerisms of MacNiece. And what are those qualities? Well, an acquisitive intelligence, a comfort with the detritus of modern life, an ability to absorb non-Irish experience without the BOOK REVIEWS 188 tendency to flee back into a set of Irish references. He also shares with MacNiece a healthy does of self-irony and a belief in friendship: “I insert myself like an ampersand / between Joyce Carol Oates & Ingemar Johansson” (16). “To Dean I say, ‘I’m not ‘in exile’,’ / though I can’t deny that I’ve been twice in Fintona” (36). Johansson was the Swedish boxer who knocked out Floyd Patterson; in company with Joyce Carol Oates he would certainly be as threatening as a day spent in Fintona . Muldoon’s rejection of the heroism of exile plays an important part in setting the record straight. Like MacNeice’s move from Ireland to London to Cornell , Muldoon’s move is also a kind of intellectual’s commuting. To be genuinely “exiled” is to be permanently removed from one’s context. A poet like Muldoon has established any number of contexts for his work and his life. Long before he removed himself physically from Belfast, Muldoon had been surfing the poetry internet . His world is not lyrical, like Austin Clarke’s and Kavanagh’s, but it is intertextual , dependent upon educated guesses, like the work of Beckett or Flann O’Brien. He creates powerful localities, but he ain’t provincial: Much as I’m taken by Barry Douglas...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1550-5162
Print ISSN
0013-2683
Pages
pp. 188-190
Launched on MUSE
2017-08-31
Open Access
No
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