An incisive summary of the effect of Irish writers on English literature; I liked the English-rose-pruning metaphor and the ‘frank impiety’ of their robust influence. 

See Borges also on the illusion of definitive texts

‘(Irish writers) … made deep incursions into the territory of English letters, pruning all rhetorical exuberance with frank impiety. Jonathan Swift acted like a corrosive acid on the elation of human hope.’ 

 

Source: Jorge Luis Borges, On Writing (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2010), p. 11

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