A History of the John McGahern Banning Controversy

Posted: August 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

Illusory Promise

Irish Studies Review

I meant to plug this sooner, but ‘If it was Just Th’oul Book …’: A History of the McGahern Banning Controversy – my article on the banning of John McGahern in 1965 – was published a little while ago in the Irish Studies Review. It’s the first time this crucial event in McGahern’s life has been looked at it any depth, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say that, for anyone writing on the author’s life or his importance to Irish culture, this is going to be essential reading. But then, I would say that, wouldn’t I?

The article examines the banning of John McGahern’s novel The Dark in Ireland in 1965, along with the subsequent controversy surrounding its author’s dismissal from his teaching position in Dublin. This so-called McGahern Affair provoked wide-ranging and vigorous debate about both the censorship legislation and…

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