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Writing Modern Ireland$
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Catherine E Paul

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780989082693

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780989082693.001.0001

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date: 17 December 2017

“To construct something upon which to rejoice”: Seamus Heaney’s Prose Revisions

“To construct something upon which to rejoice”: Seamus Heaney’s Prose Revisions

Chapter:
(p.128) “To construct something upon which to rejoice”: Seamus Heaney’s Prose Revisions
Source:
Writing Modern Ireland
Author(s):

John Dennison

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9780989082693.003.0010

This essay examines Seamus Heaney's revisions to his prose works, suggesting that such revisions enabled Heaney to establish his public authority as a poet. It contends that Heaney's prose revisions are a testament to the ways in which the published prose has been “polished” in a repeated, even habitual effort of self-conformation and, in some instances, self-censorship. The essay first considers several patterns of minor revision that extend throughout Heaney's prose oeuvre before discussing the extensive and significant self-conformations of “The Redress of Poetry” and “Crediting Poetry.” It explains how Heaney's revisions simultaneously create a sense of “poetry's transcendence over history, and establish poetry as a structure upon which to rejoice”.

Keywords:   poetry, Seamus Heaney, prose, prose revisions, self-conformation, self-censorship, history

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