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6 - 1940–1959: isolation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 August 2010

Heather Ingman
Affiliation:
Trinity College, Dublin
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Summary

‘This place is a backwater’, grumbles one of Olivia Manning's characters. Isolation is a key theme in the Irish short story of this period, it being the widespread view of Irish fiction writers that the Second World War, or the Emergency as it was known in Ireland, had the effect of making an already inward-looking society even more isolated from the rest of the world. This was not necessarily the whole story. As Clair Wills has argued in That Neutral Island, Ireland's isolation paradoxically allowed for a new vitality in Irish culture. Neutrality encouraged the development of Irish artistic and cultural life as wartime censorship kept out rival foreign material. The number of art exhibitions and theatrical performances increased during this period and the indigenous film industry was given a boost due to restrictions on imports of foreign films. Moreover, the influx of refugees from Europe included artists, musicians and poets, swelling the ranks of Dublin's intelligentsia and giving the city a more cosmopolitan feel. Nevertheless, the view of Ireland's wartime writers, cosmopolitan and often European in outlook, was that neutrality had increased Ireland's isolation from the rest of the world.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2009

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  • 1940–1959: isolation
  • Heather Ingman, Trinity College, Dublin
  • Book: A History of the Irish Short Story
  • Online publication: 04 August 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511770418.006
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  • 1940–1959: isolation
  • Heather Ingman, Trinity College, Dublin
  • Book: A History of the Irish Short Story
  • Online publication: 04 August 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511770418.006
Available formats
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Send book to Google Drive

To send 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 sending content to Google Drive.

  • 1940–1959: isolation
  • Heather Ingman, Trinity College, Dublin
  • Book: A History of the Irish Short Story
  • Online publication: 04 August 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511770418.006
Available formats
×