The Green Book 1
by Brian J. Showers
Alexander M. Sullivan, The Story of Ireland (1883)
Maybe these are naοve questions. On the other hand, Ireland has made monolithic contributions to the fantastic genres, contributions the effects of which have resounded far beyond these shores and indeed echoed back. Who can deny Maturin's final word on the Gothic with Melmoth the Wanderer? Or the effects that Stoker's Dracula had (and, good lord, still has!) on the horror genre? And what serious purveyor of fantasy isn't aware of Lord Dunsany's sublime novel The King of Elfland's Daughter? Certainly there's something here to talk about. The Green Book's mission is, I hope, a simple one: to provide a venue in which to explore the wider idea of the Irish gothic, supernatural, and fantastic in literature.
Naturally, the notion of "Irish" means a great many things to as many people; and so as with this modern nation of Ireland, I think we will best be served by a far-reaching definition of inclusion.
In this inaugural issue, Albert Power gives a back-bone to our (hopefully unanswerable!) question in part one of "Towards an Irish Gothic", what will no doubt be a landmark survey of the Irish fantastic; David Longhorn explores the supernatural theatre of Conor McPherson, while folklorist Jacqueline Simpson looks at the use of oral tradition in Le Fanu's Irish tales. Dan Studer examines the fantastic novels of innocence and experience of Belfast author Forrest Reid, and finally Michael Dirda extols the virtues of three overlooked Irish fantasists: Lord Dunsany, Mervyn Wall, and James Stephens it is notable, perhaps, that even in Ireland the works of these three writers are disproportionately ignored; their titles scarcely available in Irish bookshops.
And so, I would like to welcome you to The Green Book, and invite you to join us in our explorations . . .
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Brian J. Showers
"Towards an Irish Gothic: Part One"
"Spirits of Another Sort:
The Supernatural Theatre of Conor McPherson"
"The Charm of Old Women's Tales:
Le Fanu's Use of Oral Tradition"
"Adventures of a Dream Child:
Forrest Reid's Tom Barber Trilogy"
Ciaran Foy's Citadel (Bernice M. Murphy)
Derek John's The Aesthete Hagiographer (Rob Brown)
Brian J. Showers's Old Albert (John Kenny)
John Connolly's The Wrath of Angels (Bertrand Lucat)
"Notes on Contributors"
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