Louis MacNeice (1907-64)


Life
b. 12 Sept., 1 Brookhill Ave. [var. St.], Belfast; raised at Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim where his father [John] Frederick MacNeice (‘the square black figure whom the horizon understood’) became rector of St. Nicholas’s Church, Carrickfergus in 1908, and later Church of Ireland Bishop of Down, Connor, and Dromore (d.1942); his mother (Lily) died of TB in 1914, after a period of clinical depression; his brother Willie was a Downs Syndrome child, briefly cared for at a mental institution in Scotland; a sister, Elizabeth, provided the companionship of his boyhood; his father remarried, to Bea Greer, in 1917;
 
Louis won over by her; ed. from 9 at Sherborne Prep. School, Dorsetshire, then Marlborough College, 1921-26, where he met influential friends Anthony Blunt and John Betjeman, assisting on The Heretick, and close friendship with Graham Shepard (son of E. H. Shepard); also with George MacCann, painter; passed family summer in Donegal, 1924; Merton College, Oxford, 1926-30, where he was friends with Anthony Blount and others on the left wing; first collection, Blind Fireworks (1929); lect. Classics at Birmingham Univ., 1930, living at Selly Park; wrote ‘Valediction to Ireland’; m. Mary (called ‘Mariette’, in The Strings are False); birth of his son Dan, May 1934; issued Poems (1935);
 
his version of The Agamemnon of Aeschylus (dir. Robert Doone; Westminster Th., 1 Nov. 1936), produced before W. B. Yeats who told Dodd, ‘We are assisting, my dear Dodds, at the death of tragedy’); his first wife leaves with his friend Charles Katzman in Nov.; (‘Thank you, my dear – dear against my judgement’); moved to Bedford College (London Univ.), 1936; associated with the Auden group; travelled in Spain with Blunt, Easter 1938; visited Iceland with Auden, issuing Letters from Iceland (1937) with him; issued The Earth Compels (1938); visited Barcelona, 1938; visited America, lecturing, Spring 1939; issued Autumn Journal (May 1939), a long poem in twenty-four sections, ‘something half-way between the lyric and the didactic poem’, its occasion the Munich Crisis, September 1938;
 
returned to London, Summer 1939; spent holiday with his father in Cushendun, Aug.-Sept. 1939; heard declaration of war in Galway, 1939; wartime army application rejected on health grounds; returned to America, and suffered near-fatal peritonitis; nursed by Eleanor; visited first wife in New Jersey; visited Auden ménage in Brooklyn; sailed for England with shipful of Canadian airmen, Dec. 1940; offered services for ‘propaganda America’ in Jan. 1941; joined BBC as script-writer and continued as producer, 1941-61; fitrst broadcast,’Word From America’, 15 Feb. 1941 (modelled on Ed Murrow’s reports from wartime London); first radio-play, Christopher Columbus (12 Oct. 1942);
 
Graham Shepard torpedoed and drowned at sea on board HMS Polyanthus en route from Londonderry to Newfoundland, Sept. 1943, giving the occasion for “Casualty” (‘Than who I do not expect ever again/To find a more accordant friend ...’); angered by Irish neutrality (‘fat on the flesh of your kin’); radio-play, The Dark Tower, Jan. 1946; remarried, to Hedli Anderson, Berlin-trained singer whom he had met during the war and with whom he visited the Aran Islands; separated in 1960; issued poetry, Hole in the Sky (1947); issued Collected Poems 1925-48 (1948); issued Autumn Sequel (1954), a ‘fanfare’ for poets as ‘makers’ of their time;
 
issued Ten Burnt Offerings (1952); issued Visitations (1957); sided openly with the playwright Sam Thompson in the fracas surrounding Over the Bridge, 1959; radio-play, They Met on Good Friday (1959), dealing with battle of Clontarf; radio-play, The Mad Islands (1961), based on voyage of Maelduin; issued Solstices (1961); issued The Burning Perch (1963), which was then prod. a few days after his death; radio play, Persons from Porlock (BBC 30 Aug. 1963); also verse plays, Agamemnon (1955); Faust, with E. L. Stahl and The Dark Tower (1946; published 1947),
 
radio plays inc. Christopher Columbus (1944), The Mad Islands, The Administrator; Out of the Picture; and One for the Grave (dir. Frank Dermody, Dublin 1966); went on part-time contract with BBC, 1961; contracted viral pneumonia down a pothole in Yorkshire when assisting with acoustics of his last play; antibiotics inhibited by his drinking; d. Sept., Shoreditch, London; cremated and bur. Carrowdore churchyard, Ards Peninsula, Co. Down [nr. Newtownards]; autobiographical manuscript posthumously edited by E. R. Dodds and published as The Strings are False (1965); Collected Poems (1966) edited posthumously by E. R. Dodds (London 1966; rep. 1979) - ‘a bit of a shambles’, acc. Mahon; his literary estate was subsequently managed by Dan Davin;
 
there is a late elegy by Derek Mahon (“In Carrowdore Churchyard”), and a poem by Paul Muldoon (“7 Middagh St.”); One of the Grave was produced at the renovated Abbey in 1966, dir. Frank Dermody; there is both a published and unpublished memoir by MacNeice’s sister Elizabeth; the standard biography is by Jon Stallworthy (1995); a box of MacNeice papers, chiefly letters to Anthony Blunt, are held at Cambridge Univ.; estate rights managed by Dan Davin, 3 Southmoor Road, Oxford; MacNeice’s One for the Grave was revived at the Abbey in 1967; his centenary was marked by a conference at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry (QUB), 12-15 Sept. 2007. NCBE DIB DIW DIL KUN OCEL FDA HAM ORM DUB OCIL

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Works
Poetry collections
  • Blind Fireworks (London: V. Gollancz 1929), 80pp.;
  • Poems (London: Faber & Faber; NY, Random House 1935), 66pp.;
  • with W. H. Auden, Letters from Iceland (London: Faber & Faber 1937), 268pp., ill. [fold. map., ports.; some letters in verse], and Do. [another edn.] (NY: Random House: 1937), 269pp., ill. [pls.]; (London: Faber & Faber 1967, 1985), 253pp., ill. [1 map];
  • The Earth Compels (London: Faber & Faber 1938, 1943), 64pp.;
  • Autumn Journal (London: Faber; NY: Random House 1939, 1946, 1949), 96pp.;
  • The Last Ditch (Dublin: Cuala Press 1940), 33pp. [ltd. edn. 450], and Do. [facs. rep.] (Shannon: IUP 1971), [7], 35pp.;
  • Plant and Phantom (London: Faber & Faber 1941, 1943), 86pp.;
  • Springboard: Poems 1941-1944 (London: Faber; NY, Random 1944, 1946), 54pp., and Do. [another edn.] (NY: Random House [1945]), 63pp.;
  • Holes in the Sky: Poems 1944-1947 (London: Faber), 72pp., and Do. (NY: Random 1948, 1949), 61pp.;
  • Collected Poems 1925-1948 (London: Faber; NY: OUP 1949), 310pp;
  • Ten Burnt Offerings (London: Faber & Faber; NY: OUP 1952), 95pp.;
  • Autumn Sequel: A Rheticoral Poem in XXVI Cantos (London: Faber & Faber 1954), 163pp.;
  • The Other Wing (London: Faber [1954]), 4pp.;
  • Visitations (London: Faber & Faber; NY: OUP 1957), 60pp.;
  • Eighty-five Poems selected by the Author (London: Faber; NY: OUP 1959), 128pp.;
  • Solstices (London: Faber; NY: OUP 1961), 78pp.;
  • The Burning Perch (London: Faber; NY: OUP 1963; rep. edn. 2001), 47pp.;
  • The Revenant, A Song Cycle for Hedi Anderson (Dublin: Cuala Press [Dolmen] 1975), 5-31pp. [ltd. edn. 350].
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Selected & Collected Editions
  • Selected Poems (London: Faber & Faber 1940; 3rd imp. 1941; another edn. 1945), 80pp;., and Do. [another edn.] pub. in USA as Poems 1925-1940 (NY: Random House 1940), q.pp.;
  • Selected Poems of Louis MacNeice, sel. & intro. by W. H. Auden (London: Faber & Faber 1964), 160pp.;
  • The Collected Poems of Louis MacNeice, ed. E. R. Dodds (London: Faber & Faber ; NY: OUP 1966), 557pp., and Do. [rep. edn.] (London: Faber & Faber & Faber , 1969, pb. 1979);
  • Selected Poems, ed. Michael Longley (London: Faber & Faber 1988), xxiii, 160pp.; Do. as Poems, selected by Michael Longley (London: Faber & Faber 2001, 2005) xiii, 111pp., and Do., as Selected Poems, ed. Edna Longley, intro. Michael Longley, (London: Faber & Faber 2007), 240pp.;
  • Collected Poems by Louis MacNeice, ed. Peter MacDonald (London: Faber & Faber 2006), 836pp.
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Fiction
  • Roundabout Way, by [pseud.] ‘Louis Malone’ (London; NY: Putnam [1932]), novel;
  • The Penny That Rolled Away (NY: Putnam’s 1954), and Do. [rep. as] The Sixpence That Rolled Away (London: Faber [1956]), children’s story.
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Prose
  • ‘Sir Thomas Malory’, in The English Novelists: A Survey of the Novel by Twenty Contemporary Novelists, ed. Derek Verschoyle (London: Chatto & Windus, 1936) [q.pp.];
  • I Crossed the Minch (London & NY: Longmans, Green [1938]);
  • Modern Poetry: A Personal Essay (London & NY: OUP 1938), 205pp. [criticism];
  • Zoo (London: Michael Joseph [1938]), q.pp.
  • The Poetry of W. B. Yeats (London: Faber & Faber 1941), and Do. [rep. edn.], foreword by Richard Ellmann (Oxford: OUP 1967), 207pp. [extracts];
  • Meet the US Army (London: HMSO [1943]), pamphlet;
  • with W. H. Auden, Astrology (London: Aldus Books; NY: Doubleday 1964);
  • Varieties of Parable [Clark Lectures 1963] (Cambridge UP 1965).
Autobiography
  • The Strings Are False: An Unfinished Autobiography, ed. E. R. Dodds (London: Faber & Faber 1965; NY: OUP 1966), and Do., [rep. edn.] (London: Faber & Faber 1996), 288pp.
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Selected works
  • Alan Heuser, ed., Selected Literary Criticism of Louis MacNeice (OUP 1987);
  • Alan Heuser, ed., Selected Prose of Louis MacNeice (OUP 1990).
Correspondence
  • Jonathan Allison, ed., Letters of Louis MacNeice (London: Faber & Faber 2010) , xlvii, 768, ill. [8pp. pls.]
 

For extensive extracts from W. B. Yeats (London: Faber 1941), see Ricorso Library, “Criticism” - W. B. Yeats, [infra].

 
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Drama (inc. radio plays)
  • The Agamemnon of Aeschylus (London: Faber & Faber 1936; 1955);
  • Out of the Picture (London: Faber & Faber 1937), 126pp. [verse drama];
  • The Dark Tower and Other Radio Scripts (London: Faber & Faber 1947);
  • Christopher Columbus (London: Faber [1944]), radio play;
  • Goethe’s ‘Faust’, Pts I & II, with EL Stahl (London: Faber [1951]; NY: OUP 1952);
  • The Mad Islands and The Administrator (London: Faber & Faber 1964), radio plays;
  • The Dark Tower (1964) [‘dedicated adventure’, acc. 1947 ed.];
  • One for the Grave (London: Faber; NY OUP 1968);
  • Persons from Porlock (BBC 30 Aug. 1963) [var. 1969], radio plays.
Also Selected Plays of Louis MacNeice, ed. Alan Heuser & Peter McDonald (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1994) [incl. ‘They Met on Good Friday’ ‘The Mad Islands’; ‘The Dark Tower’; ‘One of the Grave’].
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Recordings
Louis MacNeice Reads Selected Poems (London: Argo 1961) [vinyl].
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Bibliographical details
Alan Heuser & Peter McDonald, eds., Selected Plays of Louis MacNeice (Clarendon Press 1994) [0-19-811245-9]. CONTENTS: The Dark Tower [published for first time in its third and final version]; They Met on Good Friday, ‘saga play’ on battle of Clontarf; The Mad Islands, parable [derived from Voyage of Maeldun]; One for the Grave, satire on TV and commercialism; Christopher Columbus, epic; He Had a Date, [second version], experiment in biography; Prisoner’s Progress, parable of escape from prisoner-of-war camp; Persons from Porlock, last play, broadcast four days before his death [Sel. Plays reviewed by Sean O’Brien, in TLS, 8.7.1994, p.27].

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Partisan Review (August 1949), ‘The Window’, a poem [in three parts], in pp.836-41, followed by Nicholas Nabokov, ‘Russian Music after the Purge’, and with Leslie A. Fielder, ‘The Fear of Innocence’, story; and essays, Jose Ortega Y Gasset ‘On Point of View in the Arts’, Arthur Schlesinger, ‘The Statistical Soldier’, and Martin Greenberg, ‘The Influence of Mr. Leavis’.

The Penguin New Writing [“Report on Today”] (March 1943), incl. Louis MacNeice, “Five War Poems”: ‘Brother Fire’, ‘Whit Monday’, ‘Neutrality’, ‘Nostalgia’ and ‘The Springboard’, pp.40-42; all marked by asterisk ‘first publication in Great Britain’ other contribs. incl. Laurie Lee, Jean Paul Sartre, Peter Yates, and Stephen Spender.

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Criticism
  • Douglas Sealy, ‘Louis MacNeice’, in Dubliner, 3, 1 (Spring 1964), [q.p.].
  • Francis Hope, ‘Then and Now’, in The Review, Nos.11-12 (1964), [q.p.].
  • V. S. Pritchett, ‘Bog Asphodel’, in New Statesman and Nation, LXX, 1812 (3 Dec. 1965), p.885.
  • Elton Edward Smith, Louis MacNeice (NY: Twayne 1970).
  • Michael Longley, ‘Poetry’, in Causeway: The Arts in Ulster, ed. Longley (NI Arts Council 1971), pp.95-109.
  • John Press, Louis MacNeice [Writers & Their Work] [rev. edn.] (British Council: Longman 1970).
  • Terence Brown, ‘Louis MacNeice, 1907-1963: His Poetry’, in Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review, 59, 235 (Autumn 1970), pp.253-66 [see bibliography, infra].
  • William T. McKinnon, Apollo’s Blended Dream (OUP 1971) [arguing that MacNeice displays evidence of ‘driving and binding force of belief firmly held’].
  • D. B. Moore, The Poetry of Louis MacNeice, with an introduction by G. S. Fraser (Leicester UP 1972), 260pp.
  • Terence Brown, ‘Louis MacNeice and the “Dark Conceit”’, in Ariel: A Review of International English Literature, 3, 4 (Oct. 1972), pp.16-24 [see extract].
  • Christopher M. Armitage, A Bibliography of the Works of Louis MacNeice (London: Kaye & Ward 1973).
  • Denis Ireland, ‘Requiem for Louis MacNeice, in From the Jungle of Belfast (1973), pp.142-44.
  • Terence Brown & Alec Reid, eds., Time Was Away: The World of Louis MacNeice (Dublin: Dolmen 1974) [begins with a memoir by Elizabeth Nicholson, MacNeice’s sister, called ‘Trees Were Green’; W. B. Stanford on Agememnon, 1936, pp.63-66; Derek Mahon, ‘MacNeice in England and Ireland’, pp.113-22].
  • Terence Brown, Louis MacNeice: Sceptical Vision (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan; NY: Barnes & Noble 1975), ci, 251pp.
  • Terence Brown, ‘Louis MacNeice: An Anglo-Irish Quest’, in Northern Voices: Poets from Ulster (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1975) [chap.], pp.98-113.
  • Michael Longley, ‘The Neolithic Night: A Note on the Irishness of Louis MacNeice,’ in Douglas Dunn, ed., Two Decades of Irish Writing (Cheadle: Carcanet 1975), pp.98-104.
  • Robert Hewison, Under Siege: Literary Life in London 1939-45 (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson 1977).
  • Barbara Coulton, MacNeice in the BBC: A Biography (London: Faber 1980) [reviewed by Tom Paulin, Times Literary Supplement, 16 May 1980].
  • Robyn Marsack, The Cave of Making: The Poetry of Louis MacNeice (OUP: Clarendon 1982; rep. 1985), 184pp.
  • Anthony Cronin, ‘Louis MacNeice: London and Lost Irishness’, in Heritage Now: Irish Literature in the English Language (Dingle: Brandon 1982), pp.197-202.
  • ‘Louis MacNeice Special Number’, Honest Ulsterman, 73 (Sept. 1983).
  • Dillon Johnston, ‘MacNeice and Mahon’, in Irish Poetry After Joyce (Notre Dame UP 1985), pp.136-43, [rep. Syracuse UP 1997, pp.204-335].
  • Daniel Murphy, ‘All Religions Must Deceive: The Poetry of Louis MacNeice’, in Imagination and Religion in Anglo-Irish Literature 1930-1980 (Dublin: IAP 1987), pp.123-47.
  • Edna Longley, ‘The Walls are Flowering’, in Across the Roaring Hill: The Protestant Imagination in Modern Ireland, Gerald Dawe & Longley (Belfast: Blackstaff 1985), pp.99-123.
  • Peter McDonald, ‘Ireland’s MacNeice: A Caveat’, in The Irish Review, 2 (1987), pp.64-69.
  • Hedli MacNeice, ‘The Story of the House that Louis Built’, in Studies on Louis MacNeice, ed. Jacqueline Genet & Hellegouarch (Caen: Centre de Pub. 1988), [q.pp.]
  • Edna Longley, Louis MacNeice: A Study (London: Faber 1988), xiv, 178pp.; and Do. [corr. edn. as] Louis MacNeice: A Critical Study (London: Faber & Faber 1996), xiv, 178pp. [Bibl. 170-71].
  • Anthony Roche, ‘A Reading of Autumn Journal: The Question of Louis MacNeice’s Irishness’, in Text and Context (Autumn 1988), pp.71-90.
  • Terence Brown, ‘Louis MacNeice’s Ireland’, in Tradition and Influence in Anglo-Irish Poetry, ed. Brown & Nicholas Grene (London: Macmillan 1989), pp.79-96 [see extract].
  • Peter McDonald, Louis MacNeice: The Poet in His Contexts (Oxford: OUP 1990), 251pp.
  • Robin Skelton, ‘The Craftsmanship of Louis MacNeice’, in Celtic Contraries [Chap.11] (Syracuse UP 1990), pp.171-181.
  • Edna Longley, ‘Traditionalism and Modernism in Irish Poetry’, in Geert Lernout, ed., The Crows Behind the Plough: History and Violence in Anglo-Irish Poetry and Drama [Costerus Ser. Vol. 79] (Amsterdam: Rodopi 1991), pp.159-73.
  • Alan Peacock, ‘Received Religion and Secular Vision: MacNeice and Kavanagh’, in Irish Writers and Religion, ed. by Robert Welch (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1992), pp. 148-68.
  • Edna Longley, ‘No More Poems about Painting?’, in Longley, The Living Stream: Literature and Revisionism in Ireland (Newcastle-Upon-Tyne: Bloodaxe 1994), pp.227-51.
  • Carrickfergus and District Historical Journal, VII, ‘Louis MacNeice Issue’ (Carrickfergus 1994) [incl. Auden; Derek Mahon; essays on his father, and an essay on his influences by Edna Longley].
  • John Stallworthy, Louis MacNeice: A Biography (London: Faber 1995), 572pp.
  • Gerald Dawe, ‘Anatomist of Melancholia: Louis MacNeice’, Against Piety: Essays in Irish Poetry (Belfast: Lagan 1995), pp.81-88.
  • Kathleen Devine & Alan J. Peacock, ed., Louis MacNeice and His Influence [Ulster Editions & Monographs [Coleraine UU Symposium 1994] (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1997), 207pp. [infra].
  • Jon Stallworthy, ‘Fathers and Sons’ [on MacNeice with Mahon, Longley and Muldoon], Bullán, 2, 1 (Summer 1995), pp.1-16.
  • Christina Hunt Mahony, ‘London Meets Laredo: A Nightmare: Louis MacNeice’s Irish War’, Irish University Review (Autumn/Winter 1995), pp.204-14.
  • Christopher John Fauske, ‘A Life Merely Glimpsed: Louis MacNeice and the End of the Anglo-Irish Tradition’, in Politics and the Rhetoric of Poetry: Perspectives on Modern Anglo-Irish Poetry [The Literature of Politics The Politics of Literature [Vol. 5], ed. Tjebbe A. Westendorp & Jane Mallinson (Amsterdam: Rodopi 1995), pp.181-98 [prev. in Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, 20, 1 (1994), pp.17-29].
  • Edna Longley, ‘Out of Ulster 1: Louis MacNeice and His Influence’, in Theo Dorgan, ed., Irish Poetry Since Kavanagh (Dublin: Four Courts 1996), pp.52-6[?].
  • Derek Mahon [sundry essays], Journalism: Selected Prose 1970-1995 (Dublin: Gallery 1996) [infra].
  • Adolphe Haberer, ‘Yeats and MacNeice: From Context to Intertext’, Irish University Review (Autumn/Winter 1997), pp.219-35.
  • Peter McDonald, ‘Louis MacNeice’s Posterity’, Princeton University Library Chronicle, LIX, No. 3 (Spring 1998), pp.376-97.
  • Neil Corcoran, ‘Keeping the colour news: Louis MacNeice in the Contemporary Poetry of Northern Ireland’, in Poets of Modern Ireland: Text, Context, Intertext (Wales UP 1999), pp.56-76.
  • Peter McDonald, ‘Louis MacNeice: Irony and Responsibility’, in The Cambridge Companion to Contemporary Irish Poetry, ed. Matthew Campbell (Cambridge UP 2003), pp.59-75.
  • Declan Kiberd, ‘Incorrigibly Plural: Louis MacNeice’, in Irish Classics (London: Granta 2000), pp.543-55.
  • Elmer Kennedy-Andrews, ‘Paradigms and Precursors: Rooted Men and Nomads (John Hewitt, Patrick Kavanagh and Louis MacNeice)’, in Writing Home: Poetry and Place in Northern Ireland, 1968-2008 (Woodbridge: D. S. Brewer 2008), pp.21-52.
  • Neil Corcoran, ‘The Same Again: Repetition and Refrain in Louis MacNeice’ in Cambridge Quarterly, 38, 3 (2009), pp.214-44.
  • David Wheatley, ‘Louis MacNeice and Friends’, review of Letters of Louis MacNeice, ed. Jonathan Allison, in Times Literary Supplement (14 July 2010) [see copy attached]
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See also ...
  • Harvey Gross, Sound and Form in Modern Poetry (Michigan: Ann Arbor 1964), espec. pp.247-251.
  • Terence Brown, Northern Voices: Poets from Ulster  (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan 1975), [Chap. 6:] ‘Louis MacNeice: An Anglo-Irish Quest’, pp.98-113;
  • Patrick Deane, At Home in Time: Forms of Neo-Augustanism in Modern English Poetry (Montreal: McGill UP 1994), espec. pp.78-120.
  • Dillon Johnston, Irish Poetry after Joyce (NY: Syracuse, 1997), espec. pp.204-46.
  • Neil Corcoran, Poets of Modern Ireland: Text, Context, Intertext (Llandybie: University of Wales Press 1999), espec. pp.56-76;
  • Alan Gillis, Irish Poetry of the 1930s (Oxford: OUP 2005) [espec. Chap. 2: ‘Louis MacNeice: The Living Curve’];
  • Heather Clark, The Ulster Renaissance: Poetry in Belfast, 1962-1972 (Oxford: OUP, 2007);
  • Ashok Bery, Cultural Translation and Postcolonial Poetry (Basingstoke: Palgrave 2007);
  • David Fitzpatrick, Solitary and Wild : Frederick MacNeice and the salvation of Ireland (Dublin: Lilliput Press 2011), 324pp. [on his father]

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Bibliographical details
Kathleen Devine & Alan J. Peacock, ed., Louis MacNeice and his Influence [Ulster Editions and Monographs; Coleraine UU Symposium, 15-17 Sept. 1994] (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1997). CONTENTS: Alan J. Peacock, ‘ Introduction’ [vii-xvi]; Robert Welch, ‘Yeats and MacNeice: A Night-Seminar with Francis Stewart’, [1]; Terence Brown, ‘MacNeice and the Puritan Tradition’ [20]; Peter McDonald, ‘‘‘With Eyes Turned Down on the Past’’: MacNeice’s Classicism’ [34]; Edna Longley, ‘‘‘Something Wrong Somewhere?’’: MacNeice as Critic’ [53]; Jon Stallworthy, ‘Louis and the Women’ [68]; Richard York, ‘Louis MacNeice and Derek Mahon’ [85]; Michael Allen, ‘Louis MacNeice and Michael Longley: Some Examples of Affinity and Influence’ [99]; Neil Corcoran, ‘Keeping the Colours New: Louis MacNeice in the Contemporary Poetry of Northern Ireland’ [114]; Alan Heuser, ‘Tracing MacNeice’s Development in Drama: A Commentary on the Published and Unpublished Plays’ [133]; Notes [157]; Notes on Contributors [175-76].
 
Derek Mahon, Journalism: Selected Prose 1970-1995 (Dublin: Gallery 1996). Essays on MacNeice: ‘MacNeice in Ireland and England’, pp.21-29; ‘MacNeice, the War and the BBC’, pp.30-42 [prev. in Etudes Irlandaises, 1988]; ‘An Ulster Blackthorn’, a review of Heuser, ed., Selected Literary Criticism, [q.p.], [prev. in Irish Times, 1987]; ‘Incorrigibly Plural’, review of Michael Longley, ed., Selected Poems, and Edna Longley, Louis MacNeice: A Study, pp.47-49 [prev. in Irish Times, 1988].
 
Terence Brown, ‘Louis MacNeice, 1907-1963: His Poetry’, in Studies (Autumn 1970), pp.253-66: Bibl. incls. ‘London Letter’ (29 May 1941), read in typescript [‘we need all the senses we were born with; and one of these is the religious’]; also commentaries by Douglas Sealy, ‘Louis MacNeice’, in Dubliner, 3, 1 (Spring 1964); Francis Hope, ‘Then and Now’, in The Review, Nos.11-12 (1964) [‘called MacNeice. ‘uncommitted modern lyricist, modern but not contemporary’]; V. S. Pritchett, ‘Bog Asphodel’, in New Statesman and Nation, Vol. LXX, No.1812 (3 Dec. 1965), cp.885. [‘a sort of contemporary wandering Byron’]; G. S. Frazer, Vision and Rhetoric (1959), [appreciation of MacNeice, c.p.180]. Note that a play, One Eye Wild, subtitled ‘A Romance in Commonplace’, was broadcast in 1952 and revived by BBC Third Programme, 14 Nov. 1961. Brown comments that the late George McCann, Ulster painter and close friend of MacNeice, informed him [Brown] that MacNeice believed the critics to have almost entirely missed the metaphysical significance of his poetry. Poetic memorials written by Auden, George Barker, and Derek Mahon (‘In Carrowdore Churchyard’, from Night Crossing).

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Student dissertations incl. Andy Morrison, ‘Louis MacNiece: Anomalous Displacement and Post-colonial Identity [MA Submission, QUB 1998], available in The Imperial Archive, ed. Leon Litvack, [online].

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Commentary
See separate file, infra.

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Quotations
See separate file, infra.

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References
Edward Lucie-Smith, ed., and intro., British Poetry Since 1945 (Harmondsworth: Penguin 1970), incls. Louis MacNeice, ‘The Wiper’, ‘The Truisms’, ‘The Taxis’, ‘After the Crash’, ‘The Habits’ (pp.73-77).

Frank Ormsby, ed., Northern Windows, An Anthology of Ulster Autobiography (Belfast: Blackstaff 1987), incls. extract from The Strings are False (1982 edn.), pp.108-119.

Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 3, selects from Poems (1935), ‘Belfast’, Snow’; Poems (1937), ‘The Sunlight on the Garden’, ‘Bagpipe Music’; from Autumn Journal; from The Last Ditch; from Holes in the Sky, ‘The Strand’; from Visitations, ‘House on a Cliff’, ‘Charon’; from The Strings Are False, An Unfinished Autobiography; REFS & REMS, 132-33, 547n, 652, 657, 679, 689, 1380 WORKS & CRIT, 169-70].

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Patrick Crotty, ed., Modern Irish Poetry: An Anthology (Belfast: Blackstaff Press 1995), selects “Mayfly” [77]; “Snow” [78]; from “Autumn Journal” - XVI [78]; “Meeting Point” [82]; “Autobiography” [83]; “The Libertine” [84]; “Western Landscape” [85]; from “Autumn Sequel”, Canto XX [88]; from A Hand of Snapshots: “The Once-in-Passing” [91]; “House on a Cliff” [92]; “Soap Suds” [92]; “The Suicide” [93]; “Star-gazer” [94].

Catalogue at 1994 [titles with ISBNs only], Selected Poems of Louis MacNeice, intro. W. H. Auden (London: Faber 1964) [571 06089 7]; The Collected Poems of Louis MacNeice, ed. E. R. Dodds (London: Faber; NY: OUP 1966; rep. London: Faber 1979) [0 571 1570 8]; Selected Poems, ed. Michael Longley (Lon & Boston: Faber 1989) [0 571 15279 0]; Selected Plays of Louis MacNeice, ed. Alan Heuser and Peter McDonald (OUP 1994) [0-19-811245-9]

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Notes
Autumn Sequel (1954) is a long poem in twenty-six terza-rima cantos sounding a ‘Fanfare for the makers, who compose / A book of words or deeds’ (‘Gwilym’ for Dylan Thomas [II, XVII, XX], ‘Gorman’ for W. R. Rodgers, ‘Maguire’ for Belfast artist George MacCann, and ‘Boyce’ for Dodds);

W. B. Yeats calls MacNeice ‘an extreme radical’ in a letter to Dorothy Wellesley, 20 Oct. 1935; Letters on Poetry, 1964, p.36); see also extracts from McNeice’s See also Louis MacNeice, Poetry of W. B. Yeats (London: Faber 1941) [See full-text version in RICORSO Library, “Criticism > Major Authors > Yeats”, via index, or direct.)

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Stephen Spender complained that he tried ‘vainly much of the time to penetrate the centre of MacNeice’s sensibility.’ (Quoted in Alan Riordan, review of Peter McDonald, ed. Collected Poems, in Books Ireland, April 2007, p.73.)

OED Supplement quotes MacNeice’s use of ‘Anglo-Irish’ in Last Ditch (1940), ‘and the mist on the Wicklow mountains as close ... As the Irish to the Anglo-Irish.’

Omphalos: At opening of Joyce’s tower, when Fianna Fáil alderman says to BBC representatives MacNeice and W. R. Rodgers, ‘It’s a strange thing, there is no word in Irish for Oscar Wilde’s trouble’, to which MacNeice, ‘I have just returned from Helsinki. It’s a strange thing, there is no word in the Finnish language for snow.’ (Cited, Owen Dudley Edwards, reviewing Coakley, The Importance of being Irish, in Fortnight, March 1995).

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Clark Lectures: Varieties of Parable (CUP [1965]), contains his Clark lectures at Cambridge, unrevised by MacNeice at the time of his death and dealing with Spenser and Bunyon, Lewis Carroll’s Alice books, Kingsley’s The Water Babies, novels and plays of William Golding and Samuel Beckett. See Anthony Glavin review of same, in Dublin Magazine (Spring 1966).

Northern Poet?: Derek Mahon holds that to apply the term “Northern Ireland poet” to MacNeice is to circumscribe ‘not only his interests but his acheivements.’ (Journalism, 1996; cited in Times Literary Supplement, review, 29 Nov. 1996.)

Portrait of MacNeice by Nancy Sharp [Mrs Spender], 1938 (see Anne Crookshank, Irish Portraits Exhibition, Belfast: Ulster Museum 1965).

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John Stallworthy, Louis MacNeice (London: Faber & Faber 1995), 572pp., commissioned by E. R. Dodds, MacNeice’s executor, and later Dan Davin; incls. as appendices: MacNeice, ‘Landscapes of Childhood and Youth’; John Hilton, ‘Louis MacNeice at Marlborough and Oxford’. Note that Stallworthy has issued an autobiography, Singing School: The Making of a Poet (London: John Murray 1998), 246pp.

Places: Forebears of the MacNeice’s are buried in Ballisodare. Carrickfergus Castle and environs is the site of a tomb of the great Ulster planter Sir Arthur Chicester.

Centenary bash: MacNeice’s centenary is to be marked by a centenary conference at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry (QUB / 12-15 Sept. 2007). Those participating incl. Jonathan Allison, Simon Armitage, Terence Brown, Valentine Cunningham, Paul Farley, Michael Longley, Peter McDonald, Medbh McGuckian, Derek Mahon, Sinéad Morrissey, Pual Muldoon, Don Paterson, Jon Stallworthy and Clair Wills.

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