John Montague

The figure in the cave, and other essays, ed. by Antoinette Quinn

The Lilliput press

Dublin, 1989
bibliothèque insulaire
The figure in the cave, and other essays / John Montague ; ed. by Antoinette Quinn. - Dublin : The Lilliput press, 1989. - 240 p. ; 22 cm.
ISBN 0-946640-26-2

DESCRIPTION : The Figure in the Cave selects the prose of one of Ireland's foremost contemporary poets — part autobiography, part criticism, part self-commentary — a gathering, from the mid-century to the present day, that marks a lifetime's critical engagement with literature in both Europe and America.

In the title essay Montague looks over his career as a writer ; in others he describes a coming-of-age in Ulster, explores his own poetics, and appraises Goldsmith, Carleton, George Moore, Joyce and Beckett, MacNeice, Clarke, Kavanagh, Hewitt and MacDiarmid. Pieces on American literature include a vignette of Saul Bellow, a review of Lowell and an intimate sketch of Berryman. To conclude, the author examines the impact of international modern poetry on Irish writing.

Humorous, forceful, impressionistic, enriched with personal and political observation, this dialogue between early and later selves traces the development of the boy from Garvaghey to the figure in the cave, and reveals the workings of a fine poet's mind.

John Montague was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1929 and raised in Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland. He studied in Dublin, Yale, Iowa and Berkeley, and in the late 1960s taught in Berkeley and in Paris, from 1974 to 1988 at University College Cork, and from 1989 at SUNY Albany in the USA. He has published two works of fiction, Death of a Chieftain (1964) and The Lost Notebook (1988), as well as some ten collections of poetry, from Forms of Exile (1958) to Mount Eagle (1988) and New Selected Poems (1989). In 1974 he edited The Faber Book of Irish Verse and his anthology Bitter Harvest appeared in America in 1989.
  • « Amours, marées » éd. bilingue, choix de poèmes de Josine Monbet et Michael Scott, traduit par le Groupe d’études et de recherches britanniques (Université de Bordeaux II), Bordeaux : William Blake and Co., 1988
  • « La langue greffée » éd.bilingue, choix de poèmes et traductions de Jacques Darras, Michel Deguy, Claude Esteban, Serge Fauchereau et Robert Marteau, Paris : Belin (L'Extrême contemporain), 2000
  • « Dans l'entre-deux = Border sick call » éd. bilingue, traduit par Michèle Duclos, Magdelaine Gibson, Françoise Loppenthien et Sylvaine Marandon, Thonon-les-Bains : Alidades, 2014
  • « Drunken sailor », Oldcastle (Co. Meath) : The Gallery press, 2004
  • « New collected poems », Oldcastle (Co. Meath) : The Gallery press, 2012

mise-à-jour : 23 décembre 2016
Poète d'Irlande du Nord (Co. Tyrone), né à Brooklyn (USA) en 1929, John Montague est mort à Nice le 10 décembre 2016.