James Clarence Mangan

James Kilroy

1970
71 pages
ISBN 0-8387-7617-5
Contemporary Irish Writers

James Clarence Mangan is another 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. When complete the series will constitute a significant history of modern Anglo-Irish literature, encompassing discussions of more than 50 writers.

James Clarence Mangan details the life and work of one of the greatest-and least known-of the Irish poets of the early 19th century. If his name is known at all, it is largely due to the recognition accorded him by Joyce and Yeats. In many ways Mangan is unique, as he is one of the most gifted, yet most mentally tormented of Irish writers. Manga, whose best-known poem is "Dark Rosaleen," is outside of Ireland remembered only for half a dozen "anthology" pieces. In this volume the author analyzes in brilliant fashion the major works of the tortured poet, and also sketches in some of the biographical highlights of "The Man in the Cloak." A bibliography has also been included.

In addition to his original poetry Mangan is also noted for his translations from the German and other languages. One of these, "And Then No More," based on a poem by Friedrich Ruckert, is generally regarded as one of Mangan's best. It contains elaborate rhymes and sound effects, as can be seen in this first stanza: "I saw her once, one little while, and then no more. / 'Twas Eden's light on Earth awhile, and then no more./ Amid the throng she passed along the meadow floor:/ Spring seemed to smile on Earth awhile, and then no more;/ But whence she came, which way she went, what garb she wore/ I noted not; I gazed awhile, and then no more."

About the author:

James Kilroy has a B.A. from DePaul University, an M.A. from the University of Iowa, and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. He has spent time in Dublin in recent years, and is currently involved in research on modern Irish drama. Presently, he is teaching in the Department of English at Vanderbilt University.

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