Paul Painting Paul: Self-Portraiture and Subjectivity in Durcan's Poetry

Kathleen McCracken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a significant number of Paul Durcan’s poems, a ‘character’ named Paul Durcan makes an appearance. Part autobiographical trace, part fictional construct, what does this enigmatic persona have to say about authorship, subjectivity and the potential for self-portraiture via poetic form? This article examines the multiple implications of Durcan’s apparent self-inscription in light of Barthes’s notion of the death of the author, Foucault’s author function, and Durcan’s own perception of the poetry collection as a verbal picture gallery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-112
JournalABEI Journal: the Brazilian Journal of Irish Studies
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Nov 2012


  • Paul Durcan
  • self-portraiture
  • death of the author
  • author function
  • Barthes
  • Foucault


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