Augustine Martin

CommentaryQuotations

Life
1935-1995; b. Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim; ed. St Joseph’s College (Cistercian College), Roscrea; UCD; joined English Dept., UCD; succeeded Roger McHugh to Chair of Anglo-Irish Literature, 1979; prominent in Governing Body, and Senator of the Irish State, 1973; fnd. member of Assoc. of Teachers of English [ATE]; demonstrated with F. X. Martin, SJ, and others, at Wood Quay against destruction of Viking remains; Director of Abbey Board, 1983; Chairman, 1985;
 
served as Director of the International Yeats Summer School, 1978-81, and wrote the text for the audio-visual performance at the Yeats Tower (Ballylee); fnd. Yeats Winter School; fnd. Joyce Summer School at Newman Hse., on the basis of the semi-defunct James Joyce Institute, which he revived; collected essays on Anglo-Irish literature posthumously edited by Anthony Roche as Bearing Witness (1996); he was working on a life of Patrick Kavanagh at the time of his death; survived by wife Claire and four children.

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Works
Monographs, Anglo-Irish Literature [Foreign Affairs] (Govt. of Ireland 1980), 71pp. [contents]; Bearing Witness: Essays on Anglo-Irish Literature (Dublin: UCD Press 1996), 259+xx. [contents]. Also ed., The Genius of Irish Prose [Thomas Davis lectures 1984] (Cork: Mercier 1985), 173pp.

Articles incl. ‘Inherited Dissent: The Dilemma of the Irish Writer’, in Studies (Spring 1965), c.p.15; ‘The Rediscovery of Austin Clarke’, in Studies (Winter 1965), pp.408-34; ‘The Apocalyptic Structure in Yeats’s The Secret Rose’, in Studies, 64 (1975), pp.24-34; ‘Eusebius McGreal’, in Third Degree, 1, 2 (Dublin 1977); ‘What Stalked in the Post Office?’, in The Crane Bag (1977; rep. in Crane Bag Book, 1982, p.320); ‘Sin and Secrecy in Joyce’s Fiction’, in James Joyce: An Joyce International Perspective, ed. Suheil Bushrui & Benstock (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1982), pp.143-55.

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Anglo-Irish Literature [Foreign Affairs] (Govt. of Ireland 1980), 71pp. Contents: Introduction [6]; The Colonial Phase 1690-1800 [11]; The Regional Phase 1800-42 [19]; The Metropolitan Phase [31]; The Contemporary Phase [45]; Conclusion [65]; Sel. Bibliography [67]’ Index [69]. Photo credits [71].

The Genius of Irish Prose (Dublin & Cork: Mercier Press, 1985), 174pp. Contents: John Cronin, ‘The Nineteenth Century: A Retrospect’, [10-21]; Richard Allen Cave, ‘George Moore and his Irish Novels’, [22-31]; Colbert Kearney, ‘The Short Story 1900-1945’, [32-21]; A. Norman Jeffares, ‘The Realist Novel 1900-1945’, [42-52]; Benedict Kiely, ‘The Historical Novel’, [53-66]; Thomas Kilroy, ‘The Autobiographical Novel’, p[67-75]; Denis Donoghue, ‘The Fiction of James Joyce’, [76-88]; Terence Brown, ‘Literary Autobiography in the Twentieth Century’, [89-98]; Prionsias Ó Conluain, ‘Prose Writing translated from the Irish’, [99-109]; Augustine Martin, ‘Fable and Fantasy’, [110-120]; Declan Kiberd, ‘Samuel Beckett and the Protestant Ethic’, [121-30]; John Jordan, ‘The Short Story after the Second World War’, [131-44]; Sean McMahon, ‘The Realist Novel after the Second World War’, [145-154]; Maurice Harmon, ‘Literary Biography in Twentieth-Century Ireland’. Notes; Select Bibliography [as infra]. Contributors [Notes].

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Bearing Witness: Essays on Anglo-Irish Literature (Dublin: UCD Press 1996), 259+xx, contains essays on “Yeats, Synge and Joyce”, ‘Christy Mahon and the Apotheosis of Loneliness’ [33-43]; ‘Sin and Secrecy in Joyce’s Fiction’ [56-66]; ‘Novelist and City: The Technical Challenge’ [67-77]; “The Inherited Dissent” incls. Anglo-Irish Literature: The Protestant Legacy’ [100-114]; “Irish Prose Tradition”, incl. James Stephens’s The Crock of Gold [115-30]; ‘A Skeleton Key to the Stories of Mary Lavin’ [141-56]. “Selected Reviews” incl. Francis Stuart, Pillar of Cloud and Redemption; Edna O’Brien, Time and Tide; Aidan Matthews [sic], Lipstick on the Host; Seamus Heaney, Death of a Naturalist; John Montague, The Dead Kingdom; “Poet as Witness” incl. ‘The Rediscovery of Austin Clarke’ [171-96]; ‘The Country of Childhood: Extracts from a Biography of Patrick Kavanagh’ [197-216]; ‘Technique and Territory in Brendan Kennelly's Early Work’ [217-30]; ‘Quest and Vision: Eavan Boland’s The Journey’ [231-41]. Checklist [243-48].

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Criticism
Christopher Murray [obit], in Irish University Review (Winter 1995); also Jacqueline Genet, ‘In Memoriam: Gus Martin’, in Études Irlandaises [Volume Traditionnel], Numéro 21-1 (1996) [q.pp.].

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Commentary
Anne Enright writes that ‘[o]ur sensibilities were shaped by the fine choices’ Martin made for the secondary school curriculum in her preface to the Granta Book of Irish Short Stories (2010).

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Quotations
Catholic Ireland: ‘I was brought up in a world similar in its theology and religious practice to that of Joyce. It is a world that was virtually overthrown by the Second Vatican Council in mid 1960s, so that I think it unlikely that more recent generations of Irish readers or Cathoic readers anywhere will have read Joyce quite as I did. But my reactions to the books on first reading is somehow bound up with their narrative strategy, the response may be worth recording, insofar as it can be honestly and accurately recalled.' (‘Sin and Secrecy in Joyce’s Fiction’, in James Joyce: An Joyce International Perspective, ed. Suheil Bushrui & Benstock (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1982, p.143.)

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References
COPAC lists Anglo-Irish literature (1980); ed., An Anthology of short stories for Intermediate Certificate (1967); ed., Charles Dickens: Hard Times [Study Series] (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1974); intro., James Stephens, The Charwoman's Daughter (1972), 128pp.; Maria Edgeworth, ‘Castle Rackrent’ [Study ser.] (Gill & Macmillan 1979); edited & intro., W. B. Yeats, Collected Poems (London: Arena 1983, 1990), xxxi, 544pp.; sel. & intro., James Stephens: Desire and Other Stories (1980); ed., Forgiveness: Ireland's Best Contemporary Short Stories (1989); Friendship (Dublin: Ryan 1990)., 206pp., [8]pls.; ed., The Genius of Irish prose [RTE Thomas Davis Lects.] (Mercier/RTE 1985), 174pp.; afterword, Mary Lavin., The House in Clewe Street (London: Virgao Press 1987), 478pp. ; Ed., Introducing English: An Anthology of Prose and Poems (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1970), 123pp.; James Joyce: the artist and the labyrinth / edited by Augustine Martin (1990); James Stephens: A Critical Study (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan 1977), xii, 177pp.; ed., Winter's Tales from Ireland (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1970), 167pp.; Bearing Witness: Essays on Anglo-Irish edited by Anthony Roche (1996).

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Notes
Contra Cruiser: ‘What Stalked in the Post Office?’ (1977; rep. in Crane Bag Book, 1982, p.320) is a riposte to Conor Cruise O’Brien’s essay ‘Passion and Cunning’.

Rope-trick: Augustine Martin lost a finger in a freak accident with the rope in a tug-of-war at a school reunion in the early 1990s.

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