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Incorrigibly Plural

Louis MacNeice and His Legacy

Edited by Fran Brearton and Edna Longley

Incorrigibly Plural: Louis MacNeice and His Legacy
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Categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Irish, Memoirs, War writings
Imprint: Lives and Letters
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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(Pub. Jun 2012)
£18.95 £17.05
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(Pub. Feb 2012)
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  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Editors
  • Contents
  • World is crazier and more of it than we think,
    Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
    A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
    The drunkenness of things being various.
        from ‘Snow’, by Louis MacNeice
    Incorrigibly Plural celebrates the diversity and vitality of Louis MacNeice’s writing. Poets and critics illuminate the work of a writer whose achievement and influence is increasingly recognised as central to modern poetry in English. Contributions include responses to MacNeice by poets such as Paul Farley, Leontia Flynn, Nick Laird, Derek Mahon, Glyn Maxwell and Paul Muldoon; discussions by critics such as Neil Corcoran, Valentine Cunningham, Hugh Haughton, Peter McDonald and Clair Wills; and more biographical accounts, including a memoir by MacNeice’s son, the late Dan MacNeice.

    For each of them, MacNeice remains a continuing presence for his insight into the mechanisms of the modern world, his complex political awareness, his ability to bring the historical moment alive. Above all, what emerges is pleasure in MacNeice’s plurality of language and forms.

    More than a retrospective work of criticism, Incorrigibly Plural belongs to live debates about contemporary poetry.

    List of Abbreviations

    1    The Pity of It All

    2    Memoirs

    3    Pure Form, Impure Poetry, and Louis MacNeice’s Letters

    4     ‘I will acquire an attitude not yours’: Was Frederick MacNeice a Home Ruler, and Why Does This Matter?

    5    On MacNeice on Trains

    6    ‘What am I doing here?’ Travel and MacNeice

    7    MacNeice and Thirties (Classical) Pastoralism

    8    Eclogues Between the Truculent

    9    MacNeice’s Vehicles

    10     ‘Who would be loved by a goddess?’ Graves, MacNeice, and the Lyric of Classical Myth

    11    The Perning Birch: Yeats, Frost, MacNeice

    12     ‘The ladies would say that he looked like a poet’: Tom and the Selling of Louis

    13    The Lives We Live

    14    Turn and Turn Against: The Case of Autumn Journal

    15    ‘The Parrot’s lie’: Autumn Sequel and the BBC

    16    ‘Bulbous Taliesin’: MacNeice and Dylan Thomas

    17    When I Think of MacNeice

    18    ‘His Inturned Eyes’: MacNeice in the Woods

    19     ‘Coming up England by a different line’: Louis MacNeice and Philip Larkin

    20    The Same Again? MacNeice’s Repetitions

    21    The Seal and the Cat
        NICK LAIRD

    Guide to Further Reading
    Notes on Contributors

    Fran Brearton
    Fran Brearton is Reader in English at Queen’s University Belfast. She is the author of The Great War in Irish Poetry (Oxford University Press, 2000) and Reading Michael Longley (Bloodaxe, 2006). ... read more
    Edna Longley
    Edna Longley is Professor Emerita at Queen’s University Belfast. Her books include Poetry and Posterity (Bloodaxe, 2000) and, as editor, Edward Thomas: The Annotated Collected Poems (Bloodaxe, 2008). ... read more
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