Love and sex
McGahern’s personal and detached reflections
in John McGahern
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John McGahern's writings and stories, the characters and events he describes, provide us with clues about cultural changes in Irish society. These writings and stories can be seen as cultural data that can be interpreted and analysed using a variety of theories and concepts. In this chapter, the author develops a more sociological reading of some of McGahern's writings on sex and love. From The Pornographer, The Leavetaking, Memoir and some of McGahern's short stories, we get insights into sexual innocence, ignorance, frustration and abuse, particularly in the country. The Pornographer, The Leavetaking and some of his short stories provide key insights into the shift from rural to urban society and the decline in the importance of the Catholic Church in everyday life. It is possible to think of McGahern as one of the major chroniclers of cultural change in twentieth-century Ireland.

John McGahern

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