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Title: The cave of making : the poetry of Louis MacNeice
Author: Marsack, Robyn L.
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1979
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The thesis is a study of MacNeice's poetic development, with particular attention to his methods of composition. Its intention is similar to MacNeice's own in The Poetry of W.P. Yeats, to make clear that he is 'a less simple and more substantial poet than many of his admirers and some of his detractors think him'. (p.193). Available draft material, unpublished prose and letters have been used as a guide to MacNeice's intentions, as an indication of poetic sources and as a means of appreciating his technical dexterity. Chapters I and II cover the thirties' volumes: the first concentrates on the themes of childhood and Ireland in this period, and events in MacNeice's private life which helped shape his choice of subject and style; the second is more concerned with the public sphere, and MacNeice's reactions to the dilemmas of the decade, culminating in Autumn Journal's brilliant counterpoint of public with private occasions. His letters and reviews attest to MacNeice's own sense of changed direction in the war years, which are covered in Chapter III's discussion of a structurally tighter poetry, its less personal tone and more integrated imagery. In Chapter IV, long poems from the forties, Ten Burnt Offerings (1952) and Autumn Sequel (1954), are grouped together as evidence of MacNeice's turn to a more discursive and meditative style. A lengthy consideration of the latter volumes was prevented by the sheer bulk of draft material, which would require several chapters to gloss; however the forties' poems, showing equal care in their planning and composition, are studied attentively. With Visitations and Solstices, the subjects of Chapter V, MacNeice regained a lyric intensity which he sustained powerfully in the posthumously published Burning Perch (Chapter VI).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available