Threshold

Publication
Spring 1957- [effectively defunct]; organ of latter Ulster Theatre Movement, ed. by John Boyd, since 1971 [FDA3 1306], with John Hewitt, Stephen Gilbert, Roger McHugh, Seamus Deane, D. E. S. Maxwell, and others as assistant and guest editors; special issues on Yeats and Theatre, Forrest Reid, et al.; title derives from Yeats’s play The King’s Threshold, with an epigram reproduced in each issue: ‘Cry that not a man alive would ride among the arrows with high heart / or scatter with an open hand, had not our heady craft /commanded wasteful virtues.’

Contents
Threshold 5, 1 (Summer 1961), ed. Mary O’Malley; Poetry ed., John Hewitt; includes letter to ed. by Sybil le Brocquy on Swfit and Vanessa arguing that it really is time the critics bothered to read Swift’s letters to the tragic young woman (p.69); alos John Hewitt, ‘The cobbler’s Song: A [?] of the the Poetry of Patrick Kavanagh, pp.45-51 [Copy in Univ. of Ulster, Coleraine [Hewitt Collection].

Threshold, 4, 2 (Autumn/Winter 1960); [Colum Special] eds., O’Malley, Hewitt; incl. ‘assessment of his place in Irish Letters’; Hewitt reviews Colum, The Poet’s Circuits (OUP n.d.): ‘the most acctible book of verse by an Irish poetr to have come out since the War … it contains the bulk of Colum’s poems which have Irish subjects (pp.61-67); for decades I have found, line after line, stanza after stanza, of Colum’s ‘s memorable, life-enhancing, and have therefore felt sure of their high quality’ (Hewitt, p.66); Tom McIntyre, ‘You Can Depend on [?]Lead’, pp.6-16;

Threshold, No. 17 [n.d.], ed. Roger McHugh, incl. McGahern, ‘Waiting’; Brian Coffey, ‘Memor’s Murphy Maker’, some notes on ‘The Sisters’, 28-36; also Thomas MacIntyre, ‘The Fortune Teller’ (pp.37-58); Tom Kilroy, ‘Young Magdalen and the Pharisee’, extract from short novel about Irihs girl arriving in Switzerland to teach in private school (pp.62-74]; also Rex Taylor, Frank O’Connor, Padraic Colum, Ezra Pound, Thomas Kinsella, John Montague, Des O’Grady, Richard Weber, Maurice Harmon (on Joyce), and Tom Kilroy.

Threshold, No, 18, ed. Roy McFadden, with Robt. Greacen, Richard Kell, and Patrick Boyle; also Augustine Martin, ‘Brendan Behan’ (pp.22-27); Greacen,. ‘Va’ [on his father] (pp.7-18) [?1966]

Threshold, No. 19, ed. Roger McHugh, incl. Austin Clark, ‘W B Yeats and te Verse Drama (pp.14-29) [Centenary ed.] (Autumn 1965)

Threshold, 25 (Summer 1974), incls. John Boyd, ‘St John Ervine, a Biographical Note’, pp.101-15.

Threshold, No. 26 [1975], ed John Boyd and Patrick Galvin; incl. George McWhirter; Patrick Fiacc, Maurice Leitch, J. F. Deane, Aidan Higgins, Gerald Dawe, Jack Holland [‘Sean Juan: Canto I: His Birth’, pp.31-35)

Threshold, No. 28 [1977]: eds., Boyd and Gilbert ‘Forrest Reid No.’, incl. James Simmons, ‘Forrest Reid on Yeats’ (p.60-67) [‘I first came across Forrest Reid’s work in my teens in Derry when a girl friend lent me a battered Penguin copy of Peter Waring. Over the years I have stumbled across the rest, from Apostate (my favourite) to his book on Yeats. The excellence of the book is perhaps the biggest surprise of all. I have never read a better critical study.’ (p.60.) E. M. Forster, ‘Forrest Reid Address’ at ded. of plaque at 13 Ormiston Crescent, 10 Oct. 1952, to Lord Mayor (pp.33-36.) George Buchanan, ‘The Autobiographies of Forrest Reid’, pp.86-91 [‘If estimation of an autobiography depends on the acuity or candour or justice of an author’s interpretation of his unique experience, Forrest Reid’s attempts cannot in such respects be placed high. (Their literary merit is another matter). A Sanctification of privacy is a species of obscurantism and hardly as admirable as those who glorify it sometimes suppose. Did, or did not, Forrest Reid, really wish to know himself or come to precise terms with his impulses? The moeurs of the period were against frankness. Even the enlightned Henry James went into a huff when Forrest Reid’s innocuous story The Garden God was dedicated to him’ (p.86.) ‘what was the essence of the thing pursued? Always rapture’ (p.90.). Also, John McGahern [on] ‘Brian Westby’, et al.; John Boyd, Notes from a Journal’.

Threshold, No. 29 (Autumn 1978), ed. Boyd [solo]; contribs. incl. Patrick Fiacc; Robert Greacen; Patrick Galvin; Dugdale; McFadden, et al.criticism incl. DES Maxwell; Seamus Deane, Zack Bowen (The Theatre and Padraic Colum, pp.43-48); Roger McHugh; Alec Reid, et al. [Typeface of this iss. is Arial].

Threshold, No. 30 (Spring 1979), editorial quotes Francis Shehy Skeffington’s application for the post of Registrar of NUI: ‘I will spare you the fatuity of testimonials’ (p.3); incl. Deane, ‘Yeats and O’Casey: Exemplary Dramatists’ [defending Yeats’s model] (pp.21-28).

Threshold, No. 31, guest ed., John Hewitt (Autumn/Winter 1980), contribs. incl. Mebdh McGuckian, ‘The Love Game’, ‘Gateposts’ (p.9); Roy McFadden, ‘Sanctos Dog’ (p.14; J. B. Kilfeather, ‘Patrick Kavanagh in Belfast’, pp.64-67.

Threshold, No. 32, ed. Seamus Deane (Winter 1982); incl. Deane, ‘The Longing for Modernity’ [Editorial], pp.1-7; Seamus Heaney ‘Sweeney Astray’, p.35; Seán Ó Tuama, ‘Changing Gaelic Tradition’, pp.41-51 [on Ó Cadhain, et al.]; Tom Paulin, ‘A Rum Cove, A Stout Cove’, poems (p.52); Tim Kearney, ‘Befitting Emblems of Adversity, Seamus Heaney: ‘The Poet and the Troubles’ (pp.67-77); Hugh Maxton, ‘A Wash of Words’ (p.88); Vincent Buckley, ‘Poetry and the Avoidance of Nationalism’ [critique of Conor Cruise O’Brien] (pp.8-34). VAR.: Seamus Deane, ‘The Longing for Modernity’, editorial of Threshold, No. 32 (Winter 1984) [?ERR].

Threshold, No. 33 (Winter 1983), ed. Boyd and Dawe; incl. James Simmons, ‘Sean O’Casey: The autobiographies’, pp.36-49; Seamus Deane, 2 poems (‘History Lessons’, ‘Humming Birds’); Tom MacIntyre, ‘Wish You to Go or Wish You To Stay’; René Frechet on Synge in Ireland; also McFadden, poem (p.25); Gerald Dawe, ‘Imageries from a Sombre Loom’, pp.1-4; Daniel J. Casey, ‘George Shiels: The Enigmatic Playwright’, pp.5-21, with preliminary checklist of his plays, incl. radio, among which unpublished adaptation of Amanda McKittrick Ros, Irene Iddlesleigh (BBC Radio, 25 July 1943); also an adaptation of Charles Macklin, The Man of the World (1948).

Threshold, No. 34 (winter 1983/1984), eds., John Boyd and Daniel Casey, incl. John McGahern, ‘Old-fashioned’ (pp.8-25); also Mark J Waaelder, ‘Anno Montague’ (pp.44-45), followed by poems by Montague, ‘The Flowering Absence’; ‘The Locket’ (p.48); ‘A Christmas Card (p.44).

Threshold, No. 35 (Winter 1984-1985), John Boyd, ‘Denis Johnston 1901-1984: A personal Note’, pp.1-3; Ruth Sherry, ‘Working-Class Fiction in Cork’, pp.4-10; D. E. S. Maxwell, ‘Portrait of Behan’, pp.16-20; Graham Reid, ‘Comings and Goings’, pp.21-25; Robert Greacen, ‘The Social Consciene of Patrick MacGill’, pp.,26-31; Christna Reid, ‘Wasteground’, pp.34-39; John Hewllit, ‘Alec of the Chimney Corner’, pp.40-46 [on Alexander Irvine].

Threshold, No. 36 (Winter 1985/86), ed. JohnBoyd [solo]; incl. Damian Smyth; James Simmons, ‘A Boyhood in the Colony’, pp.68-78.

Threshold, No. 37 (Winter 1986/87), ed. Boyd and D. E. S. Maxwell; incl. Sean O’Faolain, Self-Portrait, pp.3-9; Patrick Fiacc, ‘Remembering Padraic Colum’, pp.14-19; Maurice Harmon, ‘Roger McHugh, 1908-1987’ [obituary], pp.1-2; Maurice Leitch, ‘The Hand of Cheryl Boyd’, pp.41-47; also W. R. Rodgers, ‘How I Write a Poem’, pp.20-25; Vivian Mercier, ‘John Bull’s Other Island’, pp.30-40.

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