“Nachalstvo”, “Blat” and “Blarney” Paul Durcan Between Ireland and Russia
In Durcan’s poetic work, a strong interest in Russian history and culture can be observed. The poet’s fascination with Russia manifests itself predominantly in his poetry collection Going Home to Russia published in 1987. The poems featuring in the book geographically cover the entire Soviet Union, reaching from the Baltic to the Pacific and from the White to the Black Sea, while at the same time moving back and forwards between Ireland and Russia. One of the most striking features of Durcan’s volume is his outspokenness, “a slap in the face of public taste”, using the title the Russian cubofuturists’ manifesto published at the beginning of the twentieth century. Durcan’s satirical approach to contemporary Irish society could be seen as of post-modern nature as established societal values become undermined through mockery and sarcasm.