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Northman: John Hewitt (1907-87)An Irish writer, his world, and his times$
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W. J. McCormack

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198739821

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198739821.001.0001

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Daybreak; or, I Solve the Irish Problem

Daybreak; or, I Solve the Irish Problem

(p.244) Break for Text IV Daybreak; or, I Solve the Irish Problem
Northman: John Hewitt (1907-87)

W. J. McCormack

Oxford University Press

These final pages examine two late and unusual items by John Hewitt—an unpublished quasi-fictional prose piece (‘I Solve the Irish Problem’) and a short story (‘Daybreak’) published under a pseudonym. From the first we can distil his final estimate of Irish Protestantism in its once liberal form: this is a kind of dream-fantasy in which he can admit some respect for a middle-of-the-road politics. The second involves characters whose names require adjustment due to their half resemblance to names within Hewitt’s family circle. Each piece attempts a fiction of resolved completion, but only through the medium of non-realism. Hewitt’s limited success with his more renowned inheritors is noted, and the challenge which he mounts to theories of identity is offered as a decent alternative.

Keywords:   John Hewitt, prose, short story, fantasy, Protestantism, non-realism

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