X: A Quarterly Review and McGahern’s modernism
in John McGahern
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In a 1979 interview, John McGahern discussed a difference between his work and Samuel Beckett's work. McGahern's first foray into print, The End or the Beginning of Love, occurred in March 1961 in the magazine X: A Quarterly Review consisting of several extracts from a first novel that he later abandoned. The same issue carried an article on the development of Bacon's painting, together with seven black and white reproductions. A discourse connecting art, reality and the image can be seen at work in how the magazine's editorial introduces McGahern's fiction. Writing to Michael McLaverty, McGahern comments: 'The worst review of The Dark was by a Dublin public house oracle, Anthony Cronin.' McGahern's My Love, My Umbrella explores the Kavanagh persona is juxtaposed with a love that is shortcircuited by the ego. McGahern's story suggests a misdirection or misapplication of James Joyce's materialist approach to knowing the female other.

John McGahern

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