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Nineteenth-century Irish Anacreontics: the literary relationship of James Clarence Mangan and Thomas Moore

Moore, Jane Veronica ORCID: 2013. Nineteenth-century Irish Anacreontics: the literary relationship of James Clarence Mangan and Thomas Moore. Irish Studies Review 21 (4) , pp. 387-405. 10.1080/09670882.2013.844940

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The odes of the ancient Greek poet Anacreon, celebrating wine, women and song, were made newly popular in the nineteenth century through the efforts of Thomas Moore, a writer whose first volume of verse, a loose translation of the Odes of Anacreon, published in 1800, marks him out today as a poet of Romantic sociability par excellence. I argue that the Anacreontic ode popularised by Moore continued to resonate through nineteenth-century Ireland – albeit in a heavily mediated form – in the work of the poet's successor, James Clarence Mangan, who picked up the cup in the series of drinking songs he wrote periodically throughout the 1830s and 1840s, the decades during which Mangan sank into alcoholism and emotional estrangement. The easy charm of Moore's Anacreontic song mutates in Mangan's verse into a more complex, often allusive and fragmented form, a perverse Anacreontics, which corresponds both to the poet's psychic trauma (his alcoholism and self-alienation) and to a broader cultural and political dislocation experienced by Ireland under British rule. This discomfort is registered in Mangan's verse in the playful refusal of a single authorial voice and in the poet's tendency both to ventriloquise and to distort influence – not just that of Moore but also of the British Romantics, notably Byron and Coleridge.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages > PB1001 Celtic languages and literature
Uncontrolled Keywords: British Romanticism, Irish Romanticism, Anacreon, James Clarence Mangan, Thomas Moore, Dublin Comet Club
Additional Information: Online publication date: 6 November 2013.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0967-0882
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 08:06

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