I've been reading Joyce Cary and Elizabeth Bowen recently and though it may seem that their connection with Ireland is exiguous, their writing has a specific gravity, a weighting that is Irish and a glancing off the surface that is unmistakable. I'm reading The House in Paris from 1935 at the moment. It is achieved in the sense that it creates precisely those harmonics between Past and Present which form the structure of the book. The Present is represented by the young of the Past and the interplay between the 11 year old girl and the 9 year old boy has some of the fatality of replication.
She thought, young girls like the excess of any quality. Without knowing, they want to suffer, to suffer they must exaggerate; they like to have loud chords struck on them. Loving art better than life they need men to be actors; only an actor moves them, with his telling smile, undomestic, out of touch with the everyday that they dread. They love to enjoy love as a system of doubts and shocks.(Karen from The Past section)
It is a subtle book requiring a vigilant meditativeness to enjoy.