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Northman: John Hewitt (1907-87)An Irish writer, his world, and his times$
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W. J. McCormack

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198739821

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198739821.001.0001

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The Poet Breaks Through

The Poet Breaks Through

No Rebel Word, London, 1948

Chapter:
(p.2) (p.3) 1 The Poet Breaks Through
Source:
Northman: John Hewitt (1907-87)
Author(s):

W. J. McCormack

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198739821.003.0001

This chapter is a detailed exercise in publication history. John Hewitt’s first hardback collection, No Rebel Word, was issued by Frederick Muller of London in 1948. Though it achieved little commercial success, it established him as an Irish and Ulster writer of substance and distinction. The protracted evolution of the volume is detailed from correspondence preserved in his archive, noting the elimination of some work and minor modification to other pieces. The delicate issue of a dedication—to his mother or to his wife—is noted, together with tensions between the demands of metropolitan and local audiences. In the second part, the chapter discusses the more vexed notion of ‘identity’ in Ireland and finds against it as a helpful means of understanding Hewitt’s life and his achievement in poetry.

Keywords:   John Hewitt, Ulster, Ireland, London, poetry, identity, archive, publication history, metropolitan and local audiences

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