Naming the Names Criticism

Anne Devlin
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In general, Devlin is better known as a writer of plays than of short stories, and The Way-Paver, the volume in which "Naming the Names" appeared, did not attract much critical attention. However, "Naming the Names" became Devlin's best-known story when she adapted it as a play for BBC television in 1987. Since then, assessments of it have cropped up in a number of books and articles about the work of contemporary Irish writers. In her book The Living Stream: Literature and Revisionism in Ireland, for example, Edna Longley noted that the story focuses on Finn's "mixed familial, sexual and political emotions" and that "Her mantra of street names . . . represents a lost childhood stability." In Fortnight, Elizabeth Doyle, reviewing the television adaptation, also commented on the naming of streets in the story: "The naming is a creation through language of the Belfast of her childhood, which is being dismantled...

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This section contains 330 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Naming the Names Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Naming the Names from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.