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Life and Work : The Poetics of Sincerity

Kennedy-Andrews, Elmer (2009) Life and Work : The Poetics of Sincerity. In: Visions and Revisions: Irish Writers in their Time. Patrick Kavanagh. (Eds: Smith, Stan), Irish Academic Press, pp. 21-39. ISBN 978-0-7165-2892-0 (cloth); 978-0-7165-2893-7 (paper) [Book section]

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The essay reviews the uncommonly close link in the career of Patrick Kavanagh between the life and the work, and explores Kavanagh's avowed commitment to an ideal of sincerity in both life and art. Through close reading of Kavanagh's poetry, the essay shows how a commitment to self-expression can produce unintended consequences, which in turn stimulate a readerly opening-up of the impasses, gaps and internal contradictions at the heart of what is ostensibly sincere self-knowledge. The conclusion is that it isn't the degree of the poem's commitment to the 'facts' of experience that counts, but the subtlety of its engagement with the paradoxes of self-consciousness, its formal handling of the tensions between self-possession and self-doubt.

Item Type:Book section
Keywords:Patrick Kavanagh; poetics; sincerity; modern Irish poetry
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Arts
Faculty of Arts > School of English and History
Research Institutes and Groups:Arts and Humanities Research Institute
Arts and Humanities Research Institute > English
ID Code:13992
Deposited By: Professor Elmer Kennedy-Andrews
Deposited On:01 Jun 2010 08:43
Last Modified:22 Jul 2015 10:07

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