Thursday, June 21, 2018

A favorite of Joyce …

… James Clarence Mangan, the rebel poet. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… in a 1903 article, Joyce declared Mangan to be “one of the greatest romantic poets among those who use the lyrical form”. And in two other substantial pieces, he swallows his various reservations, conceding finally, surprisingly and reluctantly that “with Mangan a narrow and hysterical nationality receives a last justification” (1902) – which in 1907 becomes: “in that “miserable, reedy, and feeble figure, a hysteric nationalism receives its final justification”. In this latter article, Joyce called Mangan “the most distinguished poet of the modern Celtic world and one of the most inspired poets of any country ever to make use of the lyric form.” His “winged, lyric music and fervid idealism…manifested themselves in his extraordinary rhythms and unstudied beauty, perhaps unencountered elsewhere in English literature, if we except the inspired songs of Shelley.”

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