Maeve Brennan, Celebrity, and Harper's Bazaar in the 1940s
Breac: A Journal of Irish Studies
University of Notre Dame
Just four years after the end of the Second World War, in his 1949 essay “Here is New York”, E. B. White begins his celebration of the city with the promise that “On any person who desires such queer prizes, New York will bestow the gift of loneliness and the gift of privacy”. In her biography of Maeve Brennan, Homesick at the New Yorker, Angela Bourke takes her cue from White in describing Brennan as “an expert in both loneliness and privacy”. There is a marked tension between privacy and public visibility and obscurity and celebrity in Maeve Brennan’s writing, an anxiety that speaks in significant ways to the concerns of the mid-century Irish woman writer and to the position of women during the years of the American war effort. While Brennan is perhaps best known for her association with the New Yorker magazine through the 1950s and 60s and beyond, her concern with celebrity and public performances of different kinds was also shaped via the formative influence of another New York magazine in the 1940s: Harper’s Bazaar. [...]
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the publisher via the link in this record.
Published online 27 July 2017