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Chapter 11 - Elizabeth Bowen: Two Stories in One

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 June 2021

Seamus Deane
Affiliation:
University of Notre Dame, Indiana
Joe Cleary
Affiliation:
Yale University, Connecticut
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Summary

Thematically banal, rather tiresomely, even clumsily ‘experimental’, like so much modernist literature that laments and seeks formally to represent loss of contact with the past, and the ruin of the present, it is astonishing how exotic and heartbreaking Elizabeth Bowen’s ‘The Happy Autumn Fields’ nevertheless is. Echoes of the traditional ghost story and of the new science fiction tale are audible to any reader, but the composite that Bowen creates in this instance has a texture and tonal complexity different to anything we find even in those novels, like The Last September (1929), that share common ground with it.

Type
Chapter
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Small World
Ireland, 1798–2018
, pp. 207 - 214
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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