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Rebel by vocationSeán O'Faoláin and the generation of The Bell$
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Niall Carson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719099373

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719099373.001.0001

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The thin society: O’Faoláin and the descent of The Bell

The thin society: O’Faoláin and the descent of The Bell

(p.129) 5 The thin society: O’Faoláin and the descent of The Bell
Rebel by vocation

Niall Carson

Manchester University Press

This chapter will discuss the contribution of the Mass Observation movement to the formation of The Bell, and the influence it had on the nature of the articles published there. It will also discuss O’Faoláin’s personal theory of the novel, where, following the lead of Henry James, he saw Ireland as a thinly-composed society. There is an outline of some of the more experimental works contained in The Bell specifically the work of Nick Nicholls, The White Stag Group, and the poet Freda Laughton. Also discussed is the editorial change from Seán O’Faoláin to Peadar O’Donnell and O’Donnell’s attempts to revive the flagging magazine with new subscriptions and new young authors.

Keywords:   Nick Nicholls, Freda Laughton, Thinly-composed society, Mass-Observation, White Stag Group, modernism, Antony Cronin, Flann O’Brien, David Marcus, Liam O’Flaherty

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