On the hundredth anniversary of the production of Seán O'Casey's Dublin plays at the Abbey Theatre, this timely book, Seán O'Casey: Political activist and writer situates O'Casey in the literary and political context of his time. It is written in an accessible style that will appeal to both a general and an academic readership. O'Casey has been widely acknowledged as one of Ireland's foremost dramatists. Drawing on archival material as well as a close reading of his drama, O'Brien examines the influence of the Young Ireland writers, Charles Stewart Parnell, The Gaelic League, and especially the Irish labour leader James Larkin on his development as a writer and a political activist. This book places O'Casey at the centre of Ireland's cultural and political history, charting his involvement in the shaping of modern Ireland, which is interwoven with a political and dramatic critique of post-independent Ireland and the wider world.O'Casey was one of the most political writers of his generation, constantly exploring the frontiers between literature and politics. Like his friend Bernard Shaw, he wrote for a purpose. His life reflects the history of the early twentieth century, a period shaped by two great ideas: nationalism and socialism. History and politics are woven into the fabric of his life and his drama.This book is an engaging and highly original account of one of the finest dramatists of the twentieth century, with a focus on the social and political movements that inspired his writing across the entire span of his career, challenging traditional interpretations that have focused almost exclusively on the three Dublin plays and the dramatic aspect of his life. By placing the working-class at the centre of his drama O'Casey gave a voice to those who are rarely heard: the poor, the dispossessed and the tenement-dweller, whose lives he shaped into works of art.
Paul O’Brien is a writer and journalist, and author of Shelley and Revolutionary Ireland.
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.