Original Research

Richard Murphy: a life in writing

E. Meihuizen
Literator | Vol 27, No 3 | a205 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v27i3.205 | © 2006 E. Meihuizen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 July 2006 | Published: 30 July 2006

About the author(s)

E. Meihuizen, Department Afrikaans, University of Zululand, South Africa

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The Irish poet Richard Murphy published his autobiography “The kick: a life among writers” in 2003. From a slightly different perspective the subtitle of this work could be rewritten as “A life in writing” since it is an account of the agencies that moulded a life devoted to creative writing which forms the book’s essential impetus. The memoir is based on notebooks which Murphy kept throughout his life “to hold the scraps of verse, elusive images, dreams, desires and revelations” to be developed into poetry. Apart from contextualising his poetry by registering the relationships, circumstances and landscapes from which it germinated, Murphy also tells of the creative process itself and the personal poetics underlying this process. This article explores what is regarded as the central determining feature of Murphy’s identity as poet, namely the relationship between the creative self and a particular place, where the concept of “place” is seen as a cultural palimpsest which represents not only physical qualities, but also the shaping and development of the landscape through time according to a certain way of life.


Autobiography; Cultural Geography; Identity; Poetics; Space


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Crossref Citations

1. Richard Murphy: Autobiography and the Connemara landscape
Elsa Meihuizen
Literator  vol: 36  issue: 1  year: 2015  
doi: 10.4102/lit.v36i2.1183