Book Creator

Snapshots of Irish Writers

by Stephanie Kelly


Snapshots of Irish Writers
English Matters
Johnathan Swift
A Modest Proposal (a version not for the faint-hearted!)
Satire in Swift
Dublin, Ireland 1667 - 1745

Jonathan Swift, pseudonyms Isaac Bickerstaff and MD Drapier, was an Anglo-Irish author, who was a prose satirist in the English language. Besides the celebrated novel Gulliver’s Travels (1726), he wrote such shorter works as A Tale of a Tub (1704) and “A Modest Proposal” (1729). His deadpan, ironic writing style, particularly in A Modest Proposal, has led to such satire being subsequently termed "Swiftian".

Swift was ordained a priest in January 1695. He served as Dean of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral from 1713 until his death. He is buried in the cathedral. He fought hard against social injustice and what he felt were unjust impositions on Irish people.

His novel Gulliver’s Travels was a huge bestseller in its day. Swift’s most famous book, its full title was Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships.

He died on the 19th October 1745, aged 78 years

Here lies the body of Jonathan Swift,
Doctor of Divinity and Dean of this Cathedral,
Where savage indignation can
no longer lacerate his heart;
Go traveller and imitate if
you can, this dedicated and earnest champion of liberty

John Banville
Banville vs Benjamin Black
Cillian Murphy on John Banville
Wexford, Ireland 1945-

John Banville, pseudonym Benjamin Black, is an Irish novelist and journalist whose fiction is known for being referential, paradoxical, and complex.
Banville has gained recognition for his literary works and has received numerous awards for his contributions to literature. He has written both under his own name and using the pseudonym Benjamin Black for his crime fiction novels. He has published numerous novels, including "The Sea," which won the Man Booker Prize in 2005, and "The Book of Evidence," which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1989.

His writing style is often characterized by its lyrical prose, meticulous attention to detail, and exploration of themes such as identity, memory, and loss. His works are known for their intellectual depth and complex narratives.

Under the name Benjamin Black, Banville has written a series of crime novels featuring a Dublin-based pathologist named Quirke. The Quirke series includes books such as "Christine Falls," "The Silver Swan," "Elegy for April," and several others. These novels are set in 1950s Dublin and explore themes of crime, corruption, and morality.
The Benjamin Black novels differ in style and tone from Banville's literary fiction, showcasing a more plot-driven and atmospheric approach to storytelling allowing him to explore a different genre while maintaining his reputation as a literary author.
Sally Rooney
An interview with Sally Rooney
Lenny Abrahamson on Trinity College