Warrenpoint

Overview

Warrenpoint is a memoir, and more than a memoir: with moments of novelistic narrative and lyricism wedded to musings on the aesthetic and theological themes of the author's coming of age -- filial piety, original sin, a child's perceptions, and then the nature of terrorism, and of reading itself -- it demonstrates the same insight and lucidity that have contributed to Denis Donoghue's fame as one of our most important critics. Taking its title from the seaside town in Northern Ireland whose police barracks served...

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Overview

Warrenpoint is a memoir, and more than a memoir: with moments of novelistic narrative and lyricism wedded to musings on the aesthetic and theological themes of the author's coming of age -- filial piety, original sin, a child's perceptions, and then the nature of terrorism, and of reading itself -- it demonstrates the same insight and lucidity that have contributed to Denis Donoghue's fame as one of our most important critics. Taking its title from the seaside town in Northern Ireland whose police barracks served as the residence for the Catholic Donoghues, it has been described as a family romance, dealing not only with the author's love for his strong-willed, taciturn policeman father, but his love for literature and how it shaped his life to come.

Dalkey Archive Press

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Recalling his Roman Catholic boyhood in Protestant-dominated Northern Ireland, where his beloved father was a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary, Donoghue ( Reading America ) muses about guilt, humiliation, original sin, contrition, confession, virtuality and actuality. His short, choppy book stumbles from narrative to reflections about ``books that seem to invite an opportunistic reading,'' as well as about vibrato, an ``effeminate habit'' that ``registers the revulsion the soul feels in the presence of an enforced truth.'' Donoghue, who grew to be 67, thought that he was permanently misshapen, imprisoned in the wrong body. In Dublin, where he went to college and is now settled, a Protestant was as alien to him as a Muslim; and narrative, the clearest form of Catholic customary knowledge, lost its power--as it has in this disturbing memoir. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Much has been written about the life of the mind, but rarely to such effect as in this book. Donoghue is a scholar of international prestige whose comments on his native Ireland have until now been restricted to its literature. This memoir, named for his hometown in Northern Ireland, is a surprising, enlightening, and exciting turn to autobiography. Written in the form of meditations that range from a few sentences to a few pages, it resembles Yeats's Memoirs in grace, provocation, evocation, and above all the exhilaration of the examined life. In very loose narrative fashion Donoghue covers his passage to adulthood, focusing on place, father, and ideas, all without regret. Indeed, ideas are a palpable presence here: in language addressed to all readers Donoghue draws on theology, philosophy, and aesthetics to account for his own experience and to celebrate forms of faith commonly under assault. This is a superb and inspiring book for a wide contemporary audience. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/90.-- John P. Harrington, Cooper Union, New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781564788726
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2013
  • Pages: 193
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Denis Donoghue is New York University’s Henry James Professor in English and American Letters. He received his degrees from National University of Ireland and Cambridge University. Professor Donoghue is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading scholars on Irish literature, and has published widely on Irish, English, and American literature and the aesthetics and practice of reading.His works include On Eloquence (2008), The American Classics: A Personal Essay (2005), and Speaking of Beauty (2003). In 2002, he was elected Chair of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Nominating Committee, and is currently a Fellow with the British Academy, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Council of Learned Societies.

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