In Gratitude for All the Gifts: Seamus Heaney and Eastern Europe
In Gratitude for All the Gifts explores the literary and cultural links between the bestselling, Nobel Prize-winning Northern Irish poet Seamus Heaney and the preeminent Eastern European poets of the twentieth century, including fellow Nobel laureate Czeslaw Milosz and Zbigniew Herbert. Magdalena Kay opens new ground in comparative literary studies with her close analysis of Heaney's poetic work from the perspective of the English-speaking West's attraction, and especially Heane''s own attraction, to Eastern European poetry.
While placing Milosz and Herbert in their cultural contexts and keeping an eye on the poems in their original Polish, this innovative and energetic study focuses on how Heaney encountered their work in translation. In Gratitude for All the Gifts thus allows us to see what happens when poetic forms, histories, and themes travel between countries and encourages us to understand cultural crossing not just thematically, but also in terms of form, voice, and aesthetic intent.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 248 pages
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.0in x 9.3in
Reviews‘Insightful and elegant book…Kay handles Heaney with nuanced admiration. It is a book for which long-time and new readers alike should be considerably grateful.’
Irish Studies Review; vol 21:04:13
‘It is very rare to read a work exhibiting such profound knowledge of East European poetry by an author who is also truly grounded in a different culture.’
Slavic & East European Journal vol 58:02:2014
‘In Gratitude for all the Gifts is one of the finest studies of Seamus Heaney, and also provides a model for the burgeoning area of transnational literary studies.’
Canadian Journal of Irish Studies vol 38:1-2:2017
‘Nowhere has the influence of Eastern European poets on Seamus Heaney been addressed as broadly or as deeply as in Magdalena Kay's fine study, In Gratitude for all the Gifts. Uniquely qualified to undertake such a study by virtue of her impressive knowledge of Heaney's oeuvre as well as her grasp of Polish literature, Kay demonstrates a deep understanding of the poets to whom Heaney was attracted and whose influences he acknowledges. I enjoyed reading Kay's compelling, convincing, and effective analyses of these poets and of Heaney's internal conflicts.’
Harold Segel, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Columbia University
Author InformationMagdalena Kay is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Victoria.
Table of contents
Chapter 1: Looking Eastwards
Chapter 2: Heroic Names
Chapter 3: Zbigniew Herbert and the Moral Imperative
Chapter 4: Approaching the Master
Chapter 5: Unfortunate Nobility
Conclusion: Considering the Gift
Subjects and Courses