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The 2nd Grand Confabulation of Drum Ceat, etc.
eBook (PDF): $3.50
Paperback. As played in Dublin Theatre Festival 1989. An Ars-Poetica-cum-Everything-Elsica... Merrimanesque Critique of Academic Apparatchiki, Deconstruction Garbage, Turner Prize Cant, & the... More > Dialects of Sociologese & Obscuranto. Loaded with wodges of satirical verse & brazen pastiche. The 1st Convention of Drum Ceat, in 593 A.D., was summoned as a Poet-Cull - the poets had grown to number one third of the entire population. Now a 2nd Drum Ceat conjures Real Poets from all ages, to Deal with a Dire Surfeit of Academics who have overrun every value including the idea of poetry - tenure is all they care about. A Jousting ensues - Professorial Imperturbables v. Poetic Diffidents! Behold the Sons of Ulster Tramping Towards Faber & Faber! “There may be a place for intelligence in the Theatre but...” (Irish Times.) But what? Excerpts also to be found in Collected Writings 1.< Less
Alexander the Lesser
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Paperback. Quiet humorous semi-autobiographical fiction, about growing up in Portstewart, Co.Derry, from the age of three, during & after WW2. Hints of cultural disagreements. Alexander’s... More > mother, widowed & needing to find work, sends him away to a Dublin boarding school, where he learns to cope with such innocence as he is supposed to possess... Incorporated into Alexander the Careerist.< Less
How to Roast A Strasbourg Goose
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Paperback. Verse play, modern myth based on an actual case brought by the Irish Government to Strasbourg, 1979: to a charge of torture (see McGuffin’s Internment) the British with their usual... More > Perfidious Albionics, entered no plea; the judges said: no plea entered means no charge to answer... This text was rejected in 1985 by the Abbey Theatre: “rather more tact is called for...” Tact! The author (faute de mieux) did it solo, around 200 perfs. “Epic poetic satire - savagely indignant” (F.O’Toole) “Brilliantly absurd” (The Scotsman) “Everything I been thinking for 40 years in an hour’n’a haef - how does he do it?” (Jungian lady in Buffalo NY). His Reality Ultimate the 1st & Last is arraigned in the Court of Tír na nÓg - "needless maltreatment of the human species" - prosecuted by a Camus type. The hearing results in a huge explosion; Lord Reason survives, as do some self-effacing pre-Celtic deities now practising as traditional musicians... Also in SAY NOTHING, Collected Works 2.< Less
The Book of Shannow
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Paperback ‘Experimental’ novel. completed 1971. Nobody owns language, nobody invented it - or everybody did. Does - all the time. All possible styles are attempted - juxtaposed, invoking... More > Eliot’s ‘surprise into a fresh sense of reality.’ Shannow is a mythic-magic landscape hung with lexical mobiles, hives & swarms of usages from the Irish & elsewhere. Hammy narrative is manfully eschewed, the free-standing scheme of Art is developing nicely when bloody old Life intervenes, makes a hames of the narrative, & turns out to be truer than the anyone could have suspected. As for the style; cf. William Carlos Williams - ‘why be afraid of imitating unless you’ve imitated the wrong thing?’ ‘Gusto’ says the organist in The Drums of Father Ned. About half this work has appeared in lit-mags Transatlantic Review, Ambit, Dublin Magazine, The Gorey Detail, etc. Also to be found in Collected Writings 1.< Less
eBook (PDF): $5.92
Paperback. Also in CW1. Two texts for Theatre. Critique of slogans, demos, merely theoretical Answers to Everything. In The Emerald Oil Company a fictional seer is thrust onstage, sans script, by his... More > absconding author. His task ("you'll work it out!") is to envision the activity that is criminally misusing the world's resources. What he sees: a Universal Death-Wish; one all-powerful Moloch-worshipper controls everything, thru his computerised assistants, Da Siva & Des Troy, engagingly virtual personalities. Over-riding principle of governance: child-sacrifice must be factored into every single financial operation... It Goes On: What is to be done? Tha People engage in a worldwide conspiracy - but is it too late?< Less
Houseparty at Baldriggera
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Paperback. Stage play as performed in The Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo, 1985. Lord Maulte invites prominent politicians from north (Rev Wm Blaikie, Ms Billie Gallagher, Sam Ferguson MP) &... More > south (Oliver Grattan McGreal TD, Séamus Stark TD) to his mansion on the border. All agree to come if there is to be foolproof security; however, since each side thinks the house is on the other side of the border, nobody arranges for same. The butler thinks fit to invite the UDA & the IRA, unbeknownst to each other. Ructions! Prose version written into Say Nothing in Collected Writings 2.< Less
Collected Writings Vol.2
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Public Concerns. Fiction, Verse, Memoirs, Journal, Correspondence, Polemics & a Poloniad. The satirical novel Say Nothing Till You Hear More offers a scabrous view of wars & other... More > injustices, thru updates on Irish legend & Dante's Commedia. Peacemonger & Dao Jones - political verses attack all the elephants in the room; for full frontal assault robust traditional scansion is de rigueur. The Immodest Proposal - 200 acerbic Byronic stanzas, previously published (2005) by Lapwing. Memoirs of an Expatriarch brings us back to 1960s Leeson Street, with excursions - e.g. to Iowa City. The remainder of the book reproduces polemical opinions & letters to editors, largely unpublished, often unpublishable.< Less
Collected Writings Vol.1
eBook (PDF): $25.92
Personal concerns. A thematic arrangement in seven books (often semi-autobiographical) of work developed 1957-2005. In 'Ramore': Alexander might have wished for a spiritual career. He grows a... More > sensibility fit for nothing but literary endeavour. ‘Shannow’ is an ‘experimental’ writing, in a personal landscape hung with lexical mobiles; the effect is musical rather than narrative until life intervenes - as if the time-signature had changed to nineteen-&-elevenpence-three-farthings. 'Leocan': an agitprop romp round Dublin’70s - games with guns. 'Sherca': a playtext after Sophocles: dropout revolutionary with ESP gift. 'Dugort': island family life, pottering about with ineffectual co-op commitments; excusable in Ireland, enough to get you shot in El Salvador. 'Turma': ideas bang their heads against establishment walls, with much polemical resonance. 'The Fiagach': treats of marital discord - The Shaming of the True - will you get blamed for what you didn’t do? Shouldn’t you?< Less
Two Island Plays
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Paperback. Two plays written & staged 1977-8 in Inishbofin, Don Bosco Grainne & The Dole - a piece of anti-social-realism, written for & performed by the islanders, expresses trenchant... More > views on the relationship of Art & The People. Played during the Arts Week & subsequently. Sculptures accidentally come alive & walk away - one of the risks you have to take with really great art. An ivory tower writer advances his theory of self deception, the artist as “innocent criminal, if you follow me.” The Connemara Triangle is a sci-fi farce. Worried by alienation, pollution, atom bomb, an extra-terrestrial race materialise one of their number, equip him with pinstripe suit, briefcase, Oxford accent. One thing he must at all costs avoid: alcohol. He is set down one the westernmost island in Europe...< Less
Alexander the Careerist
eBook (PDF): $10.51
Paperback. Contains the Portstewart Childhood text. Alexander (the Lesser) grows up in Catholic Ireland North & South, fails to enlist in the ranks of The Church Militant while learning bad... More > habits in an English seminary, emerges into the UK secular meritocracy - the Welfare State of the fifties, which provides for him handsomely, teaches him Russian during service in the RN, Kamchatka in Cornwall, allows him to squander years as a dilettante cricketing philosopher among the dreaming spires, to hitch-hike thru Europe while wishing for the gifts of Mozart, & to drift into a career as a teacher malgré soi - he isn’t fit for anything else. Also in Collected Writings 1.< Less
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