Seamus Heaney: The Crisis of Identity

Capa
University of Delaware Press, 2003 - 246 páginas
More than most contemporary poets, Seamus Heaney's work reflects a search for personal and cultural identity, a desire to come to terms with his own unique heritage. In this study, Floyd Collins develops a model of crisis that proves an apt tool for assessing Seamus Heaney's poetic career.
In his assessment of Heaney's literary influences, Collins establishes the crisis of identity as a palpable reality for such predecessors as William Butler Yeats, Patrick Kavanagh, James Joyce, and other Irish writers. Inevitably intertwined with his upbringing as a rural Catholic in Ulster, Heaney's complex and ongoing responses to his literary ancestors are a crucial part of his poetic identity. Though he recognizes elements of his own crisis in their lives and work, he is unable to emulate them without qualification; thus, they have functioned as significant sources of positive and negative identity throughout his career. Heaney's confrontations with Yeats and Joyce in particular receive special emphasis here. Collins also considers Heaney's work as a translator, which has provided fresh voices, new masks, and the reassuring continuity of a native literary tradition that emerged long before Yeats and Joyce. Collins also weighs the critical reception of Heaney's works and the pressures placed on contemporary Irish poets to respond to the Troubles. Though first and foremost a literary study, Seamus Heaney: The Crisis of Identity places Heaney's work within a broad scholarly matrix, drawing on folklore, archaeology, geography, cultural studies, psychology, and history to clarify the impact of Heaney's native culture upon his life and poetry.
 

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Conteúdo

Acknowledgments
9
A Poetics of Transcendence
155
Beowulf and Electric Light
196

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