Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-768ffcd9cc-5sfl8 Total loading time: 0.409 Render date: 2022-12-07T07:54:55.874Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Chapter 5 - Dead and alive

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2011

Claire Connolly
Affiliation:
Cardiff University
Get access

Summary

‘Nothing in Ireland is ever over’, remarks Elizabeth Bowen, in a review of a book about seventeenth-century Irish history. Yet many regarded the passing of Catholic Emancipation into law as a natural endpoint. Not only did Emancipation promise the accommodation of Catholics within the Union, but the 1820s also saw the emergence of a group of talented Catholic novelists, including John and Michael Banim and Gerald Griffin, the growth of whose reputations coincides with the establishment of the Irish novel as a distinct commercial entity. Despite their participation in a lively cultural market, however, the novels of the 1820s are notably concerned with experiences that exist on the borderline between existence and extinction, and pursue a sophisticated and compelling reading of their contemporary moment via the dissonance between dead and alive states.

Death and its rituals represent not only ‘a point at which religious positions were renegotiated and asserted’, as has been observed of early modern Ireland, but also a space from which cultural identities can be addressed and re-imagined. The porousness of the life–death boundary can, in turn, be seen to address the role of fiction within the culture of romantic nationalism. Belief possesses both religious and popular resonances in the novels, within which issues of faith and doubt also cross over into and become absorbed within the discourse of fictionality. If all fictions ‘have a whiff of death about them’, however, treatments of dead-alive states in the Irish novel of the period remain closely tied to the lived experience of the literary marketplace in the decade in which, as Ina Ferris has argued, ‘an Irish line of fiction begins to be defined’.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2011

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • Dead and alive
  • Claire Connolly, Cardiff University
  • Book: A Cultural History of the Irish Novel, 1790–1829
  • Online publication: 05 December 2011
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511800085.006
Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Dead and alive
  • Claire Connolly, Cardiff University
  • Book: A Cultural History of the Irish Novel, 1790–1829
  • Online publication: 05 December 2011
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511800085.006
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Dead and alive
  • Claire Connolly, Cardiff University
  • Book: A Cultural History of the Irish Novel, 1790–1829
  • Online publication: 05 December 2011
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511800085.006
Available formats
×