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Classics and Celtic Literary Modernism
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Book description

Celtic modernism had a complex history with classical reception. In this book, Gregory Baker examines the work of W. B. Yeats, James Joyce, David Jones and Hugh MacDiarmid to show how new forms of modernist literary expression emerged as the evolution of classical education, the insurgent power of cultural nationalisms and the desire for transformative modes of artistic invention converged across Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Writers on the 'Celtic fringe' sometimes confronted, and sometimes consciously advanced, crudely ideological manipulations of the inherited past. But even as they did so, their eccentric ways of using the classics and its residual cultural authority animated new decentered idioms of English - literary vernaculars so fragmented and inflected by polyglot intrusion that they expanded the range of Anglophone literature and left in their wake compelling stories for a new age.


‘Celtic Modernism and Classics is impressive … Baker uncovers the fascinating variety in the nationalist and language-revival movements of Ireland, Wales, and Scotland in the 19th and 20th centuries … Baker does an excellent job of resisting the temptation, far too easy in a monograph of this sort, of finding an easy overall thesis to cover these disparate writers.’

Stephanie Nelson Source: Arion: A Journal of Humanities and the Classics

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