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Christopher Nolan Biography

(1965– ), Dam-Burst of Dreams, Under the Eye of the Clock

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: New from Tartary to Frank O'connor

Irish writer, born in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He suffered severe brain damage at birth, which left him paralysed and unable to communicate clearly; at the age of 11 he began typing by movements of his head transmitted through a ‘unicorn stick’ after treatment with a new drug had increased his muscular control. The title of Dam-Burst of Dreams (1981), a collection of the poetic, dramatic, and prose pieces he had produced by the age of 14, indicates the sense of accumulated energies evident in much of the writing. His poetry, which often combines social, religious, and personal elements, is characterized by flamboyantly idiosyncratic constructions that recall the styles of Hopkins and Joyce. His compelling autobiography, Under the Eye of the Clock (1987; Whitbread Prize, 1987), displays his rich use of language, ranging stylistically between a ribald realism and passages of impressionistic prose.

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