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Title: Thomas MacGreevy : poetry, art, and nation
Author: Green, Alanna Lee
ISNI:       0000 0004 7657 5978
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2018
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Thomas MacGreevy was a Catholic, an Irish nationalist, and an international modernist who lived through two world wars. His life and work marks him as an active voice in the contentious cultural debates about art, poetry, and modernity that emerged in Ireland immediately after the First World War. This thesis examines the ways in which the three critical components of his life - modernism, Catholicism, and nationalism - interact with each other to distinguish MacGreevy as a poet. MacGreevy's life has been approached in broadly chronological order. The thesis is not an intellectual or literary biography, but a critical study of his life and published works. His role as a volunteer in the British Army during the First World War, especially as an Irishman fighting on behalf of the British, is crucial to understanding him as a poet. The theological questions and nationalist ideology with which he returned to Dublin after the war greatly influenced his role as a literary critic and writer, as well as his career as an art historian and art critic while Director of the National Gallery, Dublin. His literary career in London and Paris in the nineteen twenties and thirties was crucial to his development as a modernist. His literary associations with other modernists of the interwar period, including W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, and T.S. Eliot, were highly influential. The physical detachment from his homeland during these periods of his life crystallised his sense of nationalism, whilst also creating space for an international identity to emerge. Of the three constants of MacGreevy's life examined in this thesis - nationalism, Catholicism, and modernism - nationalism progressively evolved from a creed to an institution. His Catholicism too became progressively stronger, and in the latter half of his life was a decisive factor in the work he produced and published. His modernism was determined by the European locations where he lived, and by his professional associations. By aligning himself with the cultural nationalism of Yeats and the modernism of Eliot, MacGreevy aligned himself with a new mainstream modernism. What makes MacGreevy distinctive is that he was an international nationalist who remained throughout his life a deeply-rooted Catholic. The context in which MacGreevy operated transformed itself over the course of the twentieth century as a nation-based nationalism came into conflict with modernist internationalism. MacGreevy's response to this conflict produced a combination of his international culture and the religion of his homeland, the international religion of Catholicism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PR6025.A239 MacGreevy, Thomas