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O'Duffy, Eimar

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1893-1935) Irish dentist, political economist and author whose The Wasted Island (1919), though couched in apocalyptic tones, deals strictly with the historical Ireland during the years leading up to the Easter Uprising of 1916; Bricriu's Feast: A Comedy in Three Acts with an Epilogue (1919 chap), a play, is fantasy. O'Duffy moved to England in 1926, where he composed his best-known work, the mock-epic-Irish Cuanduine sequence comprising King Goshawk and the Birds (1926), The Spacious Adventures of the Man in the Street (1928) and Asses in Clover (1933). It is a seemingly amiable but genuinely sharp Satire on contemporary civilization, very much in the manner of James Stephens (1882-1950) in The Crock of Gold (1912), similarly assessing modern life through the eyes of characters who are, or claim to be, figures of Irish legend. The first volume, set mostly in the fantasticated Near Future ruins of Dublin and the privileged Keep nearby, sets the eponymous New York magnate against a reborn Cuchulain. The second volume mounts its comparatively sustained Satire through its heroes' voyage to a Utopia where everything is, not unusually, inverted. The third, set a little later than the first, in Near Future Ireland around 1950, musters the forces of legend to defeat US capitalism as symbolized by the egregious King Goshawk.

O'Duffy's short fiction, all seemingly published in Anthologies edited by John Gawsworth, includes an Apes as Human tale of interest: "My Friend Trenchard" in Crime, Creeps and Thrills (anth 1936). [JC]

Eimar Ultan O'Duffy

born Dublin, Ireland: 29 September 1893

died New Malden, Surrey: 21 March 1935




individual titles

about the author

  • Robert Hogan. Eimar O'Duffy (Lewisburg, Pennsylvania: Bucknell University Press, 1972) [nonfiction: chap: Irish Writers: hb/]


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