Wednesday 24 May 2017

Letters to the Editor: A fond farewell to Anthony Cronin, 'the last modernist'

From left, literary figures John Ryan, Anthony Cronin, Brian O’Nolan, Patrick Kavanagh and Tom Joyce on Sandymount Strand, Dublin, in 1954.
From left, literary figures John Ryan, Anthony Cronin, Brian O’Nolan, Patrick Kavanagh and Tom Joyce on Sandymount Strand, Dublin, in 1954.
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Is that the sound of ghostly laughter I hear emanating from the once-famous or infamous licensed premises in Harry Street, Dublin, known as McDaid's, as the ghosts of Myles na gCopaleen's world (Brian O'Nolan, Patrick Kavanagh, John Jordan and Anthony Cronin) consider the euphemistic terminology now being used to describe their activities in that literary (or anti-literary) establishment, to wit, "socialising"?

One newspaper report on the death of poet Cronin last week described him as "the last of the bohemians". But some other bohemians from the McDaid's era remain, including a group of somewhat younger writers who drank in the company of the aforementioned authors in McDaid's and elsewhere in the 1960s, myself included.

Instead of the label, "the last of the bohemians" being most appropriate for Anthony Cronin, may I suggest that the title he gave to his biography of Samuel Beckett, 'The Last Modernist', is more fitting.

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