'Korea' by John McGahern

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This essay considers “Korea” as a work of narrative poetry. Both the story’s imagery and its many repetitions work to create an elegiac tone that conveys the intertwining themes of death. The death of the narrator’s youth and the death of rural Ireland become inextricably linked through the patterns of the working day, the story of the execution, and the memory of Luke Moran’s funeral. McGahern’s subtle manipulation of point of view and the physical locations of his protagonists creates shifts in the structural tension of the story, and lend extra force to its thematic concerns

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-248
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Short Story in English
Issue number53
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • John McGahern, Irish Short Stories

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