Seamus Deane


Seamus Deane was born in Derry and educated at St Columb’s College in the city.

He is the author of French Enlightenment and Revolution in England (1988), Selected Poems (1988), Celtic Revivals (1987), Strange Country (1995) and Reading in the Dark (1996). Reading in the Dark won the 1996 Guardian Fiction Prize and the 1996 South Bank Show Annual Award for Literature.

He is also the general editor of Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing and the Penguin edition of James Joyce (1991-93).

Seamus Deane is currently the Keough Professor of Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. Until 1993, he was Professor of Modern English and American Literature at University College Dublin.

“I have a dozen feelings about it [ the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland ]. It might contain the germ of a real solution, but I don’t think in itself it is a solution. It will be modified in various ways. I think the central military problem in the north is the RUC, the Royal Ulster Constabulary. It’s a necessity for it to be disbanded and replaced with a nonsectarian, non-murderous group or force. So those are issues that still have to be worked out. But I think the relation of Dublin is still too restrictive for the peace of mind of the [Catholic] minority, because despite all the years of Unionist fears, its the minority that has suffered in Northern Ireland the most. It’s the minority that needs protection most. I don’t think that the present proposals are sufficient to ensure this end.
However, that said, it is possible to envisage the peace working and developing in a more genial atmosphere than has existed up until now. I suppose anything that brings even a modicum of justice and stops the killing has to be welcomed.”
Seamus Deane (interviewed in 1988)

Selected Poetry:
While Jewels Rot (Belfast: Festival Publs. 1965)
Gradual Wars (Shannon: IUP 1972)
Rumours (Dublin: Dolmen 1977)
History Lessons (Dublin: Gallery Press 1983)
Selected Poems (Dublin: Gallery Press 1988)

Selected Fiction:
Reading in the Dark (London: Jonathan Cape 1996)

Selected Non-Fiction:
Celtic Revivals: Essays in Modern Irish Literature 1880-1980 (London, Faber & Faber, 1985)
A Short History of Irish Literature (London, Hutchineson, 1986/Indiana, University of Notre Dame, 1986)
The French Englightenment and Revolution in England 1798-1832 (1988)
He is General Editor of The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing.