Searches For Answers
A critical guide to Seamus Heaney's writings
A central strand of this study is an exploration of Heaney's ethical and political project with respect to issues of Irish identity as outlined in his writings. This work suggests that there are analogies between Heaney's political and ethical thought, and that of Jacques Derrida, Maurice Blanchot and Emmanuel Levinas.
Each chapter concentrates on a single theme: his sense of the aesthetic, and its role in terms of politics and ethics; his relationship with politics as a contemporary situation; his notion of place, both as a given, and as something that could be reimagined; his enunciation of a sense of visceral identity; his concept of ethics in terms of a relationship between selfhood and alterity; his notion of the many threads which combine to produce a sense of Irishness.
Finally, the Nobel lectures of Yeats and Heaney are examined in order to trace the complex relationship between these two writers.
Eugene O'Brien is Head of the English Language & Literature department at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick. He is the author of Seamus Heaney and the Place of Writing (Pluto Press, 2003).
1. ‘Preoccupying Questions’: Heaney’s Prose
2. ‘Continuous Adjudication’: Binary Oppositions and the Field of Force
3. ‘Writing in the Sand’: Poetry and Transformation
4. ‘Surviving Amphibiously’: Poetry and Politics
5. ‘A Bright Nowhere’: The Deconstruction of Place
6. ‘Through-Otherness’: The Deconstruction of Language
7. Nobel Causes: Heaney and Yeats
135mm x 215mm