Reinvented, Re-imagined and Somehow Dislocated: The Evolution of Two John McGahern Short Stories
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Fahey, F., Reinvented, Re-imagined and Somehow Dislocated: The Evolution of Two John McGahern Short Stories (2008)
The John McGahern archive at The James Hardiman Library, National University of Ireland Galway includes drafts of all McGahern's works. The archive includes over twenty drafts of McGahern's story 'Christmas', while the essential narrative of the story remains the same many details in the earlier drafts of the story which correspond with McGahern's own biography are removed in later drafts, later versions of the story include the addition of details which serve to distance the story further from McGahern's own experience. During the course of the story's evolution McGahern experimented with a number of different styles. The origins of certain passages in the story 'The Recruiting Officer' can be traced back to McGahern's unpublished first novel 'The End or the Beginning of Love'. Other elements of the story can be traced back to a letter addressed to John McGahern from his friend and teaching colleague Tom Jordan.