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Dermot Bolger

Dermot Bolger (born 1959) is an Irish novelist, playwright and poet born in Finglas, a suburb of Dublin.

His work is often concerned with the articulation of the experiences of working-class characters who, for various reasons, feel alienated from society. Bolger questions the relevance of traditional nationalist concepts of Irishness, arguing for a more plural and inclusive society. In the late 1970s Bolger set up Raven Arts Press. He is currently one of a group of artists working in South Dublin as In Context 3, Public Art Commission.

Novels

Night Shift (1985)

This is Bogler's first novel (or novella?). The central protagonist is Donal, a young man from Finglas who works the night shift in a local factory. Donal's girlfriend, Elizabeth, is pregnant and they both live in a caravan at the foot of her parents' garden. Needless to say, her parents are hardly thrilled at the situation and Donal works hard to improve the life he shares with Elizabeth. This is a complex narrative, containing meditations on the prospects for young people in 1980s Ireland and the rupture between tradition (as represented by Elizabeth's family and those in authority) and the future (as represented by Donal and Elizabeth). Whilst the ending is not what one could describe as happy, it is hopeful in that Donal begins to achieve a degree of clarity about his life, including his relationship with Elizabeth, his relationship with society, and, ultimately, what it will mean to be Irish in the latter part of the 20th century. This novel introduces many of the themes that will resurface in much of Bolger's later writing.

  • The Woman’s Daughter (1987&1991)
  • The Journey Home (1990)
  • Emily’s Shoes (1992)
  • A Second Life (1994)
  • Father’s Music (1997)
  • Temptation (2000)
  • The Valparaiso Voyage (2001)
  • The Family on Paradise Pier (A story about Brian Goold-Verschoyle )(2005)

Plays

  • The Lament for Arthur Cleary (1989)
  • Blinded by the Light (1990)
  • In High Germany (1990)
  • The Holy Ground (1990)
  • One Last White Horse (1991)
  • A Dublin Bloom (1994)
  • April Bright (1995)
  • The Passion of Jerome (1999)
  • Consenting Adults (2000)
  • From these Green Heights (2005)
  • The Townlands of Brazil (2006)
  • Walking the Road (2007)
  • Ranelagh Bus (2007)

Poetry

  • The Habit of Flesh (1980)
  • Finglas Lilies (1981)
  • No Waiting America (1982)
  • Internal Exiles (1986)
  • Leinster Street Ghosts (1989)
  • Taking my Letters Back (1998)
  • The Chosen Moment (2004)

Research work about the author

  • La réécriture de l'histoire dans les Romans de Roddy Doyle, Dermot Bolger et Patrick McCabe by Alain Mouchel-Vallon (PhD thesis, 2005, Reims University, France).
  • The State of the Nation: Paradigms of Irishness in the Drama and Fiction of Dermot Bolger by Damien Shortt (PhD thesis, 2006, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Ireland)
  • Ryan, Ray. Ireland and Scotland: Literature and Culture, State and Nation, 1966-2000. Oxford University Press, 2002.
  • Paschel, Ulrike: No mean city? : the image of Dublin in the novels of Dermot Bolger, Roddy Doyle and Val Mulkerns. - Frankfurt am Main [u.a.] : Lang, 1998. – X, 170 S. - (Aachen British and American studies ; 1). ISBN 3-631-33530-X
  • Merriman, Vic: Staging contemporary Ireland : heartsickness and hopes deferred. In: The Cambridge companion to contemporary Irish drama / Shaun Richards, ed. - Cambridge : Cambridge Univ. Pr., 2004 ; pp. 244-257 (On The lament for Arthur Cleary, 1989)
  • Murphy, Paul: Inside the immigrant mind : nostalgic versus nomadic subjectivities in late twentieth-century Irish drama. In: Australasian drama studies, 43 (2003, Oct), pp. 128-147 (On A Dublin quartet)
  • Tew, Philip: The lexicon of youth in Mac Laverty, Bolger, and Doyle : Theorizing contemporary Irish fiction via Lefebvre's Tenth Prelude. In: Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies, 5:1 (1999), pp. 181-197
  • Harte, Liam: A kind of scab : Irish identity in the writings of Dermot Bolger and Joseph O'Connor. In: Irish studies review, 20 (1997 autumn), pp. 17-22
  • MacCarthy, Conor: Ideology and geography in Dermot Bolger's The Journey home. In: Irish university review: A journal of Irish studies, 27:1 (1997 Spring-Summer), pp. 98-110
  • Merriman, Vic: Centring the wanderer : Europe as active imaginary in contemporary Irish theatre. In: Irish university review: a journal of Irish studies, 27:1 (1997 Spring-Summer), pp. 166-181 (On The Lament of Arthur Cleary)
  • Aragay, Mireia: Reading Dermot Bolger's The Holy Ground : national identity, gender and sexuality in post-colonial Ireland. In: Links and letters, 4 (1997), pp. 53-64
  • Turner, Tramble T.: Staging signs of gender. In: Semiotics 1994: Annual proceedings volumes of the Semiotic Society of America. 19 / John Deely (ed.) ... New York : Lang, 1995. pp. 335-344 (On The lament for Arthur Cleary, 1989)
  • Dantanus, Ulf.: Antæus in Dublin? In: Moderna språk (97:1) 2003, pp. 37-52.
  • Battaglia, Alberto.: Dublino: oltre Joyce. Milan: Unicopli, 2002. pp. 130. (Città letterarie.)
  • Dumay, Émile-Jean.: Dermot Bolger dramaturge. In: Études irlandaises (27:1) 2002, pp. 79-92.
  • Dumay, Émile-Jean.: La subversion de la nostalgie dans The Lament for Arthur Cleary de Dermot Bolger. In: Études irlandaises (21:2) 1996, pp. 111-23.
  • Fiérobe, Claude: Irlande et Europe 1990: The Journey Home de Dermot Bolger. In: Études irlandaises (19:2) 1994, pp. 41-49.
  • Kearney, Colbert: Dermot Bolger and the dual carriageway. In: Études irlandaises (19:2) 1994, pp. 25-39.

References

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