Most of the later chapters focus on the works of one or two poets only, but "Caf6 Marliave" ranges from the nineteenth-century belle-lettrist
John Boyle O'Reilly to the present day, setting out patterns and themes that Tobin will develop in the later chapters--and in the process, staking out Irish-American poetry as a discrete, knowable tradition.
The text is detailed but its belle-lettrist
tone wearying: 'The design of the Uffizi collection makes for a richly woven tapestry: the sweetly graceful Sienese school is followed by the poetic Umbrian school .
Instead, one tends to look at Freddy and the Baseball Team from Mars in all its particular strangeness, its datedness, its embarrassing feyness, its inexplicable cult appeal--and thereby to realize what a much broader and stranger thing "literature" is than the works of widely-taught belle-lettrists
refracted through the lens of admirable but limiting theoretical issues.