Mervyn Wall

Robert Hogan

1972
73 pages
ISBN 0-8387-1065-4
Contemporary Irish Writers

Mervyn Wall 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. These 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, encompassing discussions of more than 50 writers.

The present volume treats in detail the literary career of an outstanding playwright, novelist, and radio broadcaster. He is perhaps best known for The Unfortunate Fursey, a fantasy-satire of contemporary Ireland set in the middle ages, and its sequel The Return of Fursey. He is also the author of the novels Leaves for the Burning and No Trophies Raise, and the plays, Alarm Among the Clerks and The Lady in the Twilight.

The author brings to bear on his subject contemporary critical insights, attitudes, and techniques. He analyzes concisely the various aspects of Wall's work. He demonstrates that Wall was influenced by his long career in the civil service. He points out, "If one were to draw a composite Wall hero, he would be a middle-aged man with failing powers, and incipient paunch, and a poor paying job of dull drudgery....One of the gentle, unassuming, and unsuccessful people who mutely lead lives of quiet desperation....And yet he would also be a man of sensitivity, reading, taste, and a basic good will."

About the author:

Robert Hogan was born in Missouri in 1930. He has his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri (1956). He has taught at Purdue, Ohio University, the University of Rochester, University College, Dublin, the University of California at Davis, and is presently Professor of English at the University of Delaware. His literary output includes The Experiments of Sean O'Casey, Arthur Miller, The Independence of Elmer Rice, After the Irish Renaissance, Dion Boucicault, and Eimar O'Duffy.

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