Patrick Mccabe And John Gahern: A Literary Analysis

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Patrick McCabe and John McGahern are noted as two of Ireland’s most influential writers. Although their works have similar themes and take on issues prevalent in Ireland at the time, they have drastically different writing styles. McCabe is cynical yet humorous as he takes on darker subject matters. McGahern in more straightforward in his delivery of despairing plots. McCabe takes a strong interest in small-town Ireland and uncovers the inner workings of small-town folk, all the while maintaining poetic form in his prose. McGahern takes on a light and dark dynamic in his work and aptly sheds light on the darker aspects of society that were often swept under the rug.
Similar to Joyce and Henrik Ibsen, Patrick McCabe writes about ‘average lives in their uncompromising truth’. McCabe takes small-town Ireland with its dark troubles and seeming monotony and turns it into something that can be related to, laughed at
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McCabe referred to his own work as “highly stylized but still linked with reality”. He is quite skilled at maintaining balances in his writing. Just as he finds the balance between comedy and tragedy, he too is able to base his writing in reality while maintaining style. His self-proclaimed “jukebox” style of writing brings you in and keeps your attention by bouncing from subject to subject. This paired with the Seanchaí style of storytelling – such as in the opening, “Hello there boys and girl and I hope you are well. The story I have for you this morning...” – allows the novel to be read like it would be told in the oral tradition. The narration maintains this tone but gets increasingly more cynical throughout. It is curious how McCabe writes about such tragic material, suicide, adultery, psychosis, but in such upbeat or light-hearted fashion. McCabe’s ironic style of writing is actually what makes it easier to read. Telling a tragedy like a fairytale will no doubt keep your

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