Padraic Colum: A Biographical-Critical Introduction

Padraic Colum: A Biographical-Critical Introduction

Padraic Colum: A Biographical-Critical Introduction

Padraic Colum: A Biographical-Critical Introduction

Synopsis

Mr. Bowen's aim is to place in perspective the enormous range of Colum's work, as has not been done before, and to assess critically its literary and historical position. Drawing upon his intimate knowledge of Colum's writings, Bowen rates Colum's plays as something less than the masterpieces they were thought to be, and he gives a valuable reading of Colum's novels and especially useful categorization and evaluation of Colum's children's literature.

Excerpt

In presenting this first comprehensive treatment of Padraic Colum and his work, Zack Bowen has supplied something that has long been needed, and in doing so has given us what is in its own right a good book.

Padraic Colum -- I remember first reading him in high school, in the 1920's. In those days, high-school boys could virtually acquire a university education in the humanities by reading those tiny, 64-page paperbacks, "the Little Blue Books," published by E. Haldeman- Julius in Girard, Kansas, for ten cents a copy. In one of them I read an essay about Padraic Colum. The book was by Llewelyn Powys; I can't recall whether it was in Honey and Gall or Cup-Bearers of Wine and Hellebore, but it was persuasive enough to induce me to spend my allowance on a copy of the slim green volume of Wild Earth which the Macmillan Company fortunately kept in print. I was sharply aware of my family's Irish background and was just discovering for myself the Irish Renaissance. I can never forget the effect upon my consciousness of such poems as "The Plower," "The Old Woman of the Roads," or "A Drover," particularly three stanzas of that last poem:

To Meath of the pastures,
From wet hills by the sea,
Through Leitrim and Longford,
Go my cattle and me.

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