Reading in the Dark | Critical Review by Julia O'Faolain

This literature criticism consists of approximately 4 pages of analysis & critique of Reading in the Dark.
This section contains 1,014 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
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SOURCE: "The Boy Who Wanted to Know," in Times Literary Supplement, No. 4878, September 27, 1996, p. 22.

In the following review, O'Faolain identifies the narrative value of folktales in Reading in the Dark as compromising the novel's realism.

This first novel by the poet Seamus Deane has the focused compression of poetry. Short sections—lots of white paper here—present carefully chosen incidents whose meanings expand into complexity as the narrative gathers momentum.

Reading in the Dark is, on one level, an optimistic tale. As an Irish Bildungsroman, confronting familiar hurdles, it follows a Catholic Derry boy through his childhood in the 1940s to the great day when he can tell his family that he's got his degree: "a First". It is a first for the family, too, and the father, an electrician's mate who "would have loved to have been educated", waits hours...

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This section contains 1,014 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by Julia O'Faolain
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Literature Criticism Series
Critical Review by Julia O'Faolain from Literature Criticism Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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