SPECIAL ISSUE: Litteraria Pragensia on Brendan Behan

The Centre for Irish Studies at Charles University Prague is delighted to announce the publication of Litteraria Pragensia 34.67, “Revisiting Brendan Behan,” edited by Nathalie Lamprecht and Ondřej Pilný.

Challenging the notion that little may be added to existing research into the work of Irish playwright, poet, prose writer, and rebel Brendan Behan, the new issue of Litteraria Pragensia brings together eight articles prompted by the international conference “Brendan Behan at 100: Legacy and New Directions” (hosted by the Centre for Irish Studies at Charles University in June 2023). The contributors take new approaches to Behan’s oeuvre, such as genetic readings of his manuscripts, or comparative studies with contemporaries, focus on those of his writings that have historically struggled to gather attention – his newspaper writings, short stories, and songs – and uncover new information about Behan and the Irish language or his contacts in Paris. Overall, this journal issue hopes to help rekindle interest in one of Ireland’s finest twentieth-century writers, opening new avenues for research that transcend the author’s status as a controversial pop culture icon.

All essays are available in open access through the journal website.

By way of a supplement, we are delighted to release Matthew Sweney’s blog post about Behan book covers.


Nathalie Lamprecht and Ondřej Pilný – Introduction: Brendan Behan at 100

John Brannigan – “Literature and the Hack”: Brendan Behan and the Newspapers

Radvan Markus – “Gael an Taobh Thuaidh”: The Irish Language in Brendan Behan’s Journalistic Writing

Brian Ó Conchubhair – Brendan Behan and the Irish Language: A Reconsideration

Deirdre McMahon – Brendan Behan: A Late Modernist Writer Engagé in Postwar Paris

Nathalie Lamprecht – “A splendid figure of revolting womanhood”: The Women of Brendan Behan’s Short Fiction

Klára Witzany Hutková – Irony, Trauma, and Compassion: Brendan Behan’s and Maeve Brennan’s Mid-century Short Prose

James Little – “The most cooperative of writers”: Brendan Behan’s Collaboration with Carolyn Swift on The Quare Fellow

David Livingstone – Rowdy and Rough: Brendan Behan Sings Songs from The Hostage