Harmon, Maurice 1930-
HARMON, Maurice 1930-
PERSONAL: Born June 21, 1930, in Dublin, Ireland; son of Patrick and Mary (Owens) Harmon; married Maura Lynch, October 17, 1951; children: Diarmaid, Maura. Education: University College, Dublin, B.A., 1951, H.D.E., 1953, M.A., 1955, Ph.D., 1961; Harvard University, M.A., 1957.
ADDRESSES: Home—20 Sycamore Rd., Mount Merrion, Dublin, Ireland.
CAREER: Educator, author, and poet. Lewis and Clark College, Portland, OR, assistant professor of English and Anglo-Irish literature, 1958-63; University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, associate professor, 1963-65; University College, National University of Ireland, Dublin, lecturer in English and Anglo-Irish literature, 1965-84, professor of Anglo-Irish literature and drama, 1984-90; University College Dublin, Professor Emeritus Anglo-Irish literature and drama, 1990—. Visiting professor at University of Massachusetts, 1967; Executive secretary of Swift Tercentenary Committee, 1967, and of J. M. Synge Centenary Committee, 1971; Ohio State University, distinguished visiting professor, 1973-74; Catholic University of America, visiting distinguished scholar, 1983; Marshall University, John Drinko Professor of liberal arts; Boston College, Burns Library visiting scholar in Irish studies; Trinity College Dublin, visiting professor in Irish studies, 1996; Kobe College, Japan, visiting professor, 1997-98; Aim Chams, Cairo, visiting professor, 2003.
MEMBER: International Association for the Study of Anglo-Irish Literature (chairman, 1979-82), Royal Irish Academy (member, 1976—; Vice President, 1986-89), American Committee for Irish Studies (Irish representative).
Sean O'Faolain: A Critical Introduction, University of Notre Dame Press (Notre Dame, IN), 1967.
Modern Irish Literature, 1800-1967, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1967.
(Editor) Fenians and Fenianism: Centenary Essays, Scepter Publishers (New York, NY), 1968, University of Washington Press (Seattle, WA), 1970.
The Celtic Master, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1969, Dufour (Chester Springs, PA), 1970.
J. M. Synge Centenary Papers, 1971, Humanities, 1972.
(Editor and author of introduction) William Shakespeare, Coriolanus, Education Co. of Ireland, 1972.
The Poetry of Thomas Kinsella, Wolfhound Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1974, Humanities Press (Atlantic Highlands, NJ), 1975.
(Editor, with Patrick Rafroidi) The Irish Novel in Our Time, University of Lille, 1976.
(Editor) Richard Murphy: Poet of Two Traditions, Wolfhound Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1977.
Selective Bibliography for the Study of Anglo-Irish Literature and Its Backgrounds: An Irish Studies Handbook, P. D. Meany (Mississauga, Ontario, Canada), 1977.
(Editor) Image and Illusion: Anglo-Irish Literature and Its Contexts, Wolfhound Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1979.
(Editor and author of introduction) Irish Poetry after Yeats: Seven Poets, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1979.
(With Roger McHugh) Short History of Anglo-Irish Literature from Its Origins to the Present Day, Barnes & Noble (Totowa, NJ), 1982.
(Editor) The Irish Writer and the City, Barnes & Noble (Totowa, NJ), 1984.
(Editor, with Morris Beja and others) James Joyce: The Centennial Symposium, University of Illinois Press (Champaign, IL), 1987.
Austin Clarke, 1896-1974: A Critical Introduction, Barnes & Noble (Totowa, NJ), 1989.
The Book of Precedence, Three Spires Press (Cork City, Ireland), 1994.
Sean O'Faolain, Constable (London, England), 1994.
The Last Regatta, Salmon Publishing (Cliffs of Moher, Ireland), 2000.
Tales of Death and Other Poems, Lapwing (Belfast, Northern Ireland), 2001.
(Translator and author of introduction and notes) The Colloquy of the Old Men (Acallam na Senórach), Academia Press (Bethesda, MD), 2001.
(Editor and contributor) The Dolmen Press: A Celebration, Lilliput Press (Dublin, Ireland), 2002.
Also editor of Shakespeare's King Lear, King Richard II, and Romeo and Juliet. Contributor to journals, including University of Massachusetts Review, Northwest Review, Eire-laeland, Cahier de L'Herne, Cork Literary Review, Etudes Irlandaises, Poetry Ireland Review, The Harp, Mythes, Croyances et Religions, Women's Studies Forum, Colby Library Quarterly, Studies, Prospice, Journal of Irish Studies (Tokyo), Review of English Studies, Poetry Now, ABEI Journal, Acorn, Books Ireland, The Burning Bush, Cyphers, Era, New Hibernia Review, Orbis, Riposte, SHOP, Steeple, Stinging Fly, Tracks, Recorder, and Studell. Work represented in poetry anthologies, including Poetry Now, edited by Patrick Galvin, 2000; The Backyards of Heaven, edited by Stephanie MacKenzie and John Ennis, 2003; and Seeing the Wood and the Trees, edited by Rosemary Rowley and John Haughton, 2003. Editor of Irish University Review, Journal of Irish Studies, and Poetry Ireland Review.
WORK IN PROGRESS: The Doll with Two Backs and other Poems, for Salmon Press, 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: Irish-born educator and author Maurice Harmon is perhaps best known for his editorship of No Author Better Served: The Correspondence of Samuel Becket and Alan Schneider. Schneider directed many of Beckett's plays on the American stage and the title of this collection comes from a letter Beckett wrote to the director after Happy Days opened in the United States. Beckett was pleased with Schneider's work as a director and their correspondence lasted thirty years. Included in these letters are questions Schneider had about the plays, sketches of stage arrangements by Beckett, and discussions on other playwrights. While personal matters were also discussed between the two men, Harmon omitted these from the collection in adherence to the wishes of Beckett's estate. Jim McCue in New Statesman described No Author Better Served as "not about Beckett's work, but compassionately and completely part of Beckett's work." McCue was also straightforward about the fact that Beckett never wanted these letters published; the playwright made this request in a letter to Schneider. As McCue stated, "This whole book is a betrayal of a wish that could scarcely have been more clearly stated." Brian Evenson, reviewing the book in World Literature Today, called No Author Better Served "a valuable record both of Beckett's own ideas about his drama and of one of his favored dramatist's representations of the plays."
Harmon is also a poet and has published several volumes of his verse. The Last Regatta, released in 2000, contains an interesting collection of verses that relate cross-cultural impressions of Ireland. For instance, the poem "A Stillness at Kiawah," with its focus on dis-possession and revival, reflects mythologies from both American Indian and Irish cultures. Ray Olson commented in Booklist that these poems contain "vividly conjured situations" that make the reader feel as if he or she is watching, not reading.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, June 1, 2001, Ray Olson, review of The Last Regatta, p. 1826.
Choice, September, 1999, Q. Grigg, review of No Author Better Served, p. 138.
Journal of Modern Literature, fall-winter, 1990, James J. Murphy, review of Austin Clarke: A Critical Introduction, p. 342.
Modern Drama, summer, 2000, Eileen Fischer, review of No Author Better Served, p. 311.
Modern Fiction Studies, winter, 1987, K. E. Marre, review of James Joyce, p. 723.
Modern Language Review, January, 2000, John Pilling, review of No Author Better Served, p. 199.
New Statesman, January 29, 1999, Jim McCue, review of No Author Better Served, p. 48.
New York Review of Books, January 20, 2000, Fintan O'Toole, "Game without End," p. 43.
Review of English Studies, November, 1988, J. C. C. Mays, review of James Joyce, p. 588.
Spectator, May 21, 1994, Francis King, review of Sean O'Faolain, p. 34.
Sunday Times (London, England), December 13, 1998, Nicholas Lezard, review of No Author Better Served, p. 5.
Times Literary Supplement, April 12, 2002, p. 31.
World Literature Today, spring, 1999, Brian Evenson, review of No Author Better Served, p. 333.*