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Bell, The

Bell, Dublin Magazine

magazine irish ireland authors

a literary a socio-cultural periodical founded in 1940 by Sean O'Faolain. Elizabeth Bowen, Flann O'Brien, Patrick Kavanagh, Frank O'Connor, and Jack B. Yeats were among the contributors to the first issue. In the course of its fourteen-year career, the Bell was variously subtitled ‘A Survey of Irish Life’, ‘A Magazine of Creative Fiction’, and ‘A Magazine of Ireland Today’; its concern with social and political matters gave rise to incisive commentaries on such topics as state censorship in Ireland, on which G. B. Shaw wrote in an issue of 1945, the restrictive influence of the Church, and reactionary tendencies in Irish literature. In 1946 Peadar O'Donnell succeeded O'Faolain as editor, although the latter remained closely involved with the journal; under O'Donnell's direction the Bell's socialist character became more pronounced and its critiques of Irish affairs more aggressive. W. R. Rodgers and Louis MacNeice were among the authors whose work sustained the magazine's connection with cultural activities in Ulster, in addition to which it repeatedly featured writing from various parts of Europe. The young Irish authors of the 1940s and 1950s whose reputations the Bell was important in fostering include Anthony Cronin, John Montague, Thomas Kinsella, Brendan Behan, and Conor Cruise O'Brien. Having undergone financial difficulties which resulted in its temporary closure between 1948 and 1950, it finally ceased appearing in 1954. With the Dublin Magazine, the Bell is accounted the most important literary and intellectual journal of Ireland in the twentieth century.

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