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Few poets have captured the imagination of the world like Seamus Heaney. Recognized as one of the truly outstanding poets of our time, Heaney's work is both critically acclaimed and popular with the general reader. It is taught in classrooms across the globe and has been translated into more than twenty-seven languages. Presenting original research from an international field of scholars, Seamus Heaney in Context offers new pathways to explore the places, times and influences that made Heaney a poet. Drawing on newly available archival and print sources, these essays situate Heaney in a multitude of contexts that help readers navigate received ideas about his life and work. In mapping intersecting themes in the current terrain of Heaney criticism, this study also signposts new directions for understanding Heaney's poetry in future contexts.
Marked by names such as W. B. Yeats, James Joyce and Patrick Pearse, the decade 1910–1920 was a period of revolutionary change in Ireland, in literature, politics and social mentality. What fed the creative and reformist urge besides the circumstances of the moment and a vision of the future? The leading experts in Irish history, literature and culture assembled in this volume argue that the shadow of the past was also a driving factor: the traumatic, undigested memory of the defeat and death of the charismatic national leader Charles Stewart Parnell (†1891). The authors reassess Parnell's impact on the Ireland of his cultural, religious, political and intellectual life in order to trace his posthumous influence into the early twentieth century in fields like political activism, memory culture, history-writing, and literature.
Irish Revivalist playwright J. M. Synge is often regarded as a realist. Yet what happens when his work is analysed through wider performance studies and situated alongside less familiar historical contexts? By addressing this question, Hélène Lecossois offers new and valuable perspectives on Synge's plays while at the same time engaging with the complexity of his treatment of a range of performance practices – from keening at rural funerals to the performances of 'native villagers' in the entertainment section of International Exhibitions. What emerges from her study is a dramatist acutely aware of the ability of theatre in performance to counteract relentless forward-moving narratives of modernity. Through detailed, contextualized case studies, the book simultaneously makes meaningful contributions to performance studies and opens up theoretical questions of performance relating to the status of the object on stage, the body on stage and theatrical time.
The New Irish Studies demonstrates how diverse critical approaches enable a richer understanding of contemporary Irish writing and culture. The past two decades in Ireland and Northern Ireland have seen an astonishing rate of change, one that reflects the common understanding of the contemporary as a moment of acceleration and flux. This collection tracks how Irish writers have represented the peace and reconciliation process in Northern Ireland, the consequences of the Celtic Tiger economic boom in the Republic, the waning influence of Catholicism, the increased authority of diverse voices, and an altered relationship with Europe. The essays acknowledge the distinctiveness of contemporary Irish literature, reflecting a sense that the local can shed light on the global, even as they reach beyond the limited tropes that have long identified Irish literature. The collection suggests routes forward for Irish Studies, and unsettles presumptions about what constitutes an Irish classic.
James Joyce was educated almost exclusively by the Jesuits; this education and these priests make their appearance across Joyce's oeuvre. This dynamic has never been properly explicated or rigorously explored. Using Joyce's religious education and psychoanalytic theories of depression and paranoia, this book opens radical new possibilities for reading Joyce's fiction. It takes readers through some of the canon's most well-read texts and produces bold, fresh new readings. By placing these readings in light of Jesuit religious practice - in particular, the Spiritual Exercises all Jesuit priests and many students undergo - the book shows how Joyce's deepest concerns about truth, literature, and love were shaped by these religious practices and texts. Joyce worked out his answers to these questions in his own texts, largely by forcing his readers to encounter, and perhaps answer, those questions themselves. Reading Joyce is a challenge not only in terms of interpretation but of experience - the confusion, boredom, and even paranoia readers feel when making their way through these texts.
Ireland's experience in the nineteenth century was quite different from that of Victorian Britain. Its fictions were written in differing forms – like the gothic or historical novel – and its poetry and drama were populated with ballad and song. Its writers were by turns nationalist or unionist, anglophile or de-anglicising. If the effects of famine and emigration were catastrophic for mid-nineteenth-century Irish culture, they initiated a literary story that spread across the diaspora. Despite the decline of spoken Irish, literature continued to be published, while scholarly endeavours such as translation or the Ordnance Survey preserved much from the Gaelic past. This rich volume examines the many forms of new writing that thrived throughout this period. Utilizing a thematic and historical approach, it addresses a broad anglophone readership in Victorian literature. Essays consider the Irish authors in America and India, women's writing, and the resilience of Irish literature before the revival.
The years between 1780 and 1830 are vital decades in the history of Irish writing in English. This book charts the confluence of Enlightenment, antiquarian, and romantic energies within Irish literary culture and shows how different writers and genres absorbed, dispersed and remade those interests during five decades of political change. During those same years, literature made its own history. By the 1840s, Irish writing formed a recognizable body of work, which later generations would draw on, quote, anthologize and dispute. Questions raised by novels, poems and plays of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries - the politics of language and voice; the relationship between literature and locality; the possibility of literature as a profession - resonated for many Irish writers over the centuries that followed and continue to matter today. This comprehensive volume will be a key reference for scholars and students of Irish literature and romantic literary studies.
This volume examines eighteenth-century Irish literature, highlighting the diversity of texts, authors and approaches that characterises contemporary studies of the period. Chapters consider the contexts of history, politics, language, philosophy, gender, sexuality, and the environment while situating Irish literature in relation to Ireland, Britain, Europe and beyond. Well-known authors (Jonathan Swift, Edmund Burke and Oliver Goldsmith) are read alongside less familiar writers (including Mary Barber, William Chaigneau, Frances Sheridan, and Samuel Whyte) and popular and ephemeral literatures take their place with formerly canonical texts. It demonstrates the exciting vitality and richness of eighteenth-century Irish literature - written and performed - as well as its complex intersections with different communities and traditions. This book will be a key resource to scholars and students of Irish eighteenth-century studies as well as readers generally interested in questions of Anglophone and Irish-language culture, representations of gender and sexuality, and national and trans-national identities.
This volume explores the history of Irish writing between the Second World War (or the 'Emergency') in 1939 and the re-emergence of violence in Northern Ireland in the 1970s. It situates modern Irish writing within the contexts of cultural transition and transnational connection, often challenging pre-existing perceptions of Irish literature in this period as stagnant and mundane. While taking into account the grip of Irish censorship and cultural nationalism during the mid-twentieth century, these essays identify an Irish literary culture stimulated by international political horizons and fully responsive to changes in publishing, readership, and education. The book combines valuable cultural surveys with focussed discussions of key literary moments, and of individual authors such as Seán O'Faoláin, Samuel Beckett, Edna O'Brien, and John McGahern.
The years between 1880 and 1940 were a time of unprecedented literary production and political upheaval in Ireland. It is the era of the 1916 Easter Rising, the Irish Revival, and a time when many major Irish writers - Yeats, Joyce, Beckett, Lady Gregory - profoundly impacted Irish and World Literature. Recent research has uncovered new archives of previously neglected texts and authors. Organized according to multiple categories, ranging from single author to genre and theme, this volume allows readers to imagine multiple ways of re-mapping this crucial period. The book incorporates different, even competing, approaches and interpretations to reflect emerging trends and current debates in contemporary scholarship. As ongoing research in the field of Irish studies discovers new materials and critical strategies for interpreting them, our sense of Irish literary history during this period is constantly shifting. This volume seeks to capture the richness and complexity of the years 1880-1940 for our current moment.
Irish Literature in Transition, 1980–2020 elucidates the central features of Irish literature during the twentieth century's long turn, covering its significant trends and formations, reassessing its major writers and texts, and providing path-making accounts of its emergent figures. Over the past forty years, life in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland has been transformed by new material conditions in each polity and by ideological shifts in the way people understand themselves and their relation to the world. Amid these remarkable changes, culture on both sides of the border has emerged as a global phenomenon, one that both reflects and intervenes in rapidly changing contemporary conditions. This volume accounts for broad patterns of literary and cultural production in this period and demonstrates the value of Irish contemporary literature within anglophone and European traditions and as a body of work that has kept its eye trained on the particularities of the island and its inhabitants.
In James Joyce and the Matter of Paris, Catherine Flynn recovers the paradigmatic city of European urban modernity as the foundational context of Joyce's imaginative consciousness. Beginning with Joyce's underexamined first exile in 1902–03, she shows the significance for his writing of the time he spent in Paris and of a range of French authors whose works inflected his experience of that city. In response to the pressures of Parisian consumer capitalism, Joyce drew on French literature to conceive a somatic aesthetic, in which the philosophically disparaged senses of taste, touch, and smell as well as the porous, digestive body resist capitalism's efforts to manage and instrumentalize desire. This book resituates the most canonical of Irish modernists in a European avant-garde context while revealing important links between Anglophone modernism and critical theory.
The rich legacy of women's contributions to Irish theatre is traditionally viewed through a male-dominated literary canon and mythmaking, thus arguably silencing their work. In this timely book, Shonagh Hill proposes a feminist genealogy which brings new perspectives to women's mythmaking across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The performances considered include the tableaux vivants performed by the Inghinidhe na hÉireann (Daughters of Ireland), plays written by Alice Milligan, Maud Gonne, Lady Augusta Gregory, Eva Gore-Booth, Mary Devenport O'Neill, Mary Elizabeth Burke-Kennedy, Paula Meehan, Edna O'Brien and Marina Carr, as well as plays translated, adapted and performed by Olwen Fouéré. The theatrical work discussed resists the occlusion of women's cultural engagement that results from confinement to idealised myths of femininity. This is realised through embodied mythmaking: a process which exposes how bodies bear the consequences of these myths, while refusing to accept the female body as passive bearer of inscription through the assertion of a creative female corporeality.
The theatre was a crucial forum for the representation of Irish civility and culture for the eighteenth-century English audience. Irish actors and playwrights, operating both as individuals and within networks, were remarkably popular and potent during this period, especially in London. As ideas of Enlightenment percolated throughout Britain and Ireland, Irish theatrical practitioners - actors, managers, playwrights, critics and journalists - exploited a growing receptivity to Irish civility, and advanced a patriot agenda of political and economic autonomy. Mobility, toleration and the capacity to negotiate multiple allegiances are marked features of this Irish theatrical Enlightenment, whose ambitious participants saw little conflict between their twin loyalties to the Crown and to Ireland. This collection of essays responds to recent work in the areas of eighteenth-century theatre studies, Irish studies and Enlightenment studies. The volume's discussions of genre, colonialism, gender, race, music, slavery, and dress open up new avenues of scholarship and research across disciplines.
This collection explains developments within Beckett studies and why he has emerged as one of the most iconic writers of the twentieth century. It also proposes a new interpretive framework that explores both the expanded canon, which has doubled the volume of his works in the last ten years, and the new methods used to approach it. This book covers all the most recent approaches to the Beckett study, such as archival research, queer theory, mathematical readings of literature, neuro-scientific approaches, translation studies, and disability studies. These new approaches are shown to be relevant and necessary to provide a renewed understanding of the lasting value of Beckett's works.
A History of Irish Modernism examines a wide variety of artworks (from the 1890s to the 1970s), including examples from literature, film, painting, music, radio, and architecture. Each chapter considers a particular aspect of Irish culture and reflects on its contribution to modernism at large. In addition to new research on the Irish Revival and cultural nationalism, which places them squarely in the modernist arena, chapters offer transnational and transdisciplinary perspectives that place Irish cultural production in new contexts. At the same time, the historical standpoint adopted in each chapter enables the contributors to examine how modernist practices developed across geographical and temporal distances. A History of Irish Modernism thus attests to the unique development of modernism in Ireland - driven by political as well as artistic concerns - even as it embodies aesthetic principles that are the hallmark of modernism in Europe, the Americas and beyond.
Although Joyce was losing his sight when he wrote Ulysses, Stephen's and Bloom's visual experiences are extraordinarily rich and complex. Absorbing the influences of popular visual attractions such as dioramas, stereoscopes and mutoscopes, their perceptions of Dublin are shaped by what Walter Benjamin calls 'unconscious optics'. Analyzing closely the texture of their impressions and of Joyce's prismatic narrative styles, Philip Sicker explores the phenomenon of sight from a wide-ranging set of perspectives: eighteenth-century epistemology (Locke and Berkeley), theories of the flaneur (Baudelaire and Benjamin), Italian Futurist art (Marinetti and Boccioni), photography (Barthes and Sontag), and the silent films Joyce watched in Dublin and Trieste. The concept of 'spectacle' as a mechanically-constructed visual experience informs Sicker's examination of mediated perception and emerges as a hallmark of modernist culture itself. This study is an important contribution to the growing interest in how deeply the philosophy and science of visual perception influenced modernism.
This book offers the first comprehensive survey of writing by women in Ireland from the seventeenth century to the present day. It covers literature in all genres, including poetry, drama, and fiction, as well as life-writing and unpublished writing, and addresses work in both English and Irish. The chapters are authored by leading experts in their field, giving readers an introduction to cutting edge research on each period and topic. Survey chapters give an essential historical overview, and are complemented by a focus on selected topics such as the short story, and key figures whose relationship to the narrative of Irish literary history is analysed and reconsidered. Demonstrating the pioneering achievements of a huge number of many hitherto neglected writers, A History of Modern Irish Women's Literature makes a critical intervention in Irish literary history.
A History of Irish Autobiography is the first ever critical survey of autobiographical self-representation in Ireland from its recoverable beginnings to the twenty-first century. The book draws on a wealth of original scholarship by leading experts to provide an authoritative examination of autobiographical writing in the English and Irish languages. Beginning with a comprehensive overview of autobiography theory and criticism in Ireland, the History guides the reader through seventeen centuries of Irish achievement in autobiography, a category that incorporates diverse literary forms, from religious tracts and travelogues to letters, diaries, and online journals. This ambitious book is rich in insight. Chapters are structured around key subgenres, themes, texts, and practitioners, each featuring a guide to recommended further reading. The volume's extensive coverage is complemented by a detailed chronology of Irish autobiography from the fifth century to the contemporary era, the first of its kind to be published.
A History of Irish Working-Class Writing provides a wide-ranging and authoritative chronicle of the writing of Irish working-class experience. Ground-breaking in scholarship and comprehensive in scope, it is a major intervention in Irish Studies scholarship, charting representations of Irish working-class life from eighteenth-century rhymes and songs to the novels, plays and poetry of working-class experience in contemporary Ireland. There are few narrative accounts of Irish radicalism, and even fewer that engage 'history from below'. This book provides original insights in these relatively untilled fields. Exploring workers' experiences in various literary forms, from early to late capitalism, the twenty-two chapters make this book an authoritative and substantial contribution to Irish studies and English literary studies generally.