Brian Moore

Jeanne Flood

1974
96 pages
ISBN 0-8387-7823-2
Contemporary Irish Writers

Brian Moore is another outstanding contribution to the Irish Writers Series. These monographs have been designed to treat in individual volumes the significant Anglo-Irish writers of the 19th and 20th centuries. The studies will prove helpful to literary scholars and to students of literature. When complete the series will constitute a significant history of modern Anglo-Irish literature, and will encompass discussions of almost 40 writers.

The present volume exams the career of Brian Moore (1921- ). It considers in chronological order the nine major works he has published since 1955. The study focuses upon the way in which Moore's work expresses his attitude toward the creation of fiction and thus toward his own activity as a novelist. It attempts to correlate changes in Moore's use of the techniques of narrative realism with his gradual acceptance of the legitimacy of the life of the imagination. Lying behind his work, the author suggests, is a deeply ambivalent feeling toward the paternalistic social and religious structure associated in his mind with Ireland in general and his native Belfast in particular. This study tries to show that the hierarchical order Moore links to life in the Catholic community in pre-World War II Belfast is attacked in the first two phases of his career, when the artist figure is seen either as a failure helpless in the world of daily actuality, or as a powerful creator who destroys that world. After the fourth novel, it is argued, the assault on the Belfast world ceases. Moore in the second half of his career has reconciled himself through his fantasized figures to a world without hierarchy, though in his most recent work, Catholics, it would seem that the structures he had once so painfully renounced have been restored to fictions.

About the author:

Jeanne Flood is an assistant professor of English at Wayne State University in Detroit. She teaches courses in Anglo-Irish literature and modern British fiction. Born and reared in Chicago, she received her doctorate from the University of Michigan in 1967. She lived in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1965 while doing research at Queen's University. At present she is working on a study of the fiction produced by Ulster-born writers since the partition of Ireland.

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