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John Hewitt Biochronology

Hewitt's regionalism

Hewitt's 'Planter' identity

Hewitt's 'radicalism'

Hewitt: perfect Protestant for a critically re-visioned Ireland?

Hewitt's victimhood

 

My book (details below) on John Hewitt emerged from my doctoral research into critical approaches to the northern Protestant imagination.

Sarah Ferris:

Poet John Hewitt, 1907-1987, And Criticism Of Northern Irish Protestant Writing

Published by Mellen Press, an International Scholarly Publisher of Advanced Research

This study questions the validity of John Hewitt's prominence in Northern Irish Protestant writing and asserts the need for a more accurate history of this genre. Confronting the received wisdoms of a highly politicised discourse, it undermines Hewitt's status within it as a matchless. acceptable Protestant for a critically re-visioned Ireland. Challenging the substance of Hewitt's self-representations as icon of cultural liberalism, radical secular dissenter, and verse-apologist for the 'Planter condition,' this book shows that his elevation over the majority of Northern Protestants is tenable only within an incomprehensive history of Northern Irish Protestant writing that diminishes other important figures. The study provides a framework for a more equitable study of Protestant voices.

Through detailed archival evidence and clear headed reading of often neglected source materials, the book exposes the variously constructed versions of 'John Hewitt.' Thus, new and important insights are offered into the life and work of flewitt himself These insights, however, serve the larger purpose of offering a convincing critique of the ways in which Protestant writing and culture of the north have been identified and represented. The book offers a convincing and radically new version of things which have, through carelessness and through design, entered the mainstreams of cultural description and been taken for granted as accurate. . . . It tells a good and extremely important story with scholarly authority and sharp intelligence." - Desmond Graham

. . . Ferris shrewdly analyses the literary and social context that gave rise to Hewitt's burgeoning reputation, and outlines how his work was almost made to measure for the times and their requirements. In all of this, she is scrupulously fair to Hewitt's aesthetic, and offers intelligent and clear-sighted readings of all aspects of his work. 14er bibliography is comprehensive, the writing style is fluid and there is a degree of mastery of the subject matter which makes this densely-argued work quite easy to read... it will long remain the standard work on Hewitt and his reception as an artist." - Eugene O'Brien

ISBN: 0-7734-7274-6 $89.95/49.95 244pp. 2002

For special discounts, contact Mellen Press by email or through its website.

Email:  emp@mellen.demon.co.uk  website: www.mellenpress.com

 


John Hewitt: 1907 - 1987

from 'Mosaic' (1972)

History is selective. Give us instead

the whole mosaic, the tesserae,

that we may judge if a period indeed

has a pattern and is not merely

a handful of coloured stones in the dust.

The Collected Poems of John Hewitt
(Blackstaff Press: Belfast)
Ed. Frank Ormsby (1991)
p. 313