Stephen MacKenna

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This article is about the Irish translator. For the English actor, see Stephen MacKenna (actor).

Stephen MacKenna (1872–1934), an important translator of Plotinus, was considered by his contemporaries to be one of the greatest writers of prose in his time. In Joyce's Ulysses, the librarian Richard Best says, "Mallarmé, don't you know, has written those wonderful prose poems Stephen MacKenna used to read to me in Paris" (9.112). MacKenna is also well known for his public opinion on the reading of the Provisional government's declaration, in the Irish Easter rising in 1916, that he described as: “Chilling. There were no wild hurrahs, no scenes reminiscent of the excitement which had gripped the French mob before they stormed the Bastille. The Irish simply listened and shrugged their shoulders, or sniggered a little, and then glanced round to see if the police were coming.” (Journal and Letters of Stephen MacKenna. Ed. E. R. Dodds. New York: Morrow, 1937).