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Chapter 12 - English Ireland/Irish Ireland: the Poetry and Translations of J. J. Callanan

from Part III - Reputations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 February 2020

Claire Connolly
Affiliation:
University College Cork
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Summary

The position of the Cork poet J. J. Callanan (1795–1829) as a transitional figure between eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Irish poetry is more complicated, and more revealing of its historical moment, than is implied in the usual assessments of Callanan as the first Irish poet to have found ways of reshaping poetry written in English to accommodate the formal qualities of poetry written in Irish. An analysis of Callanan’s one collection, The Recluse of Inchidoney (1829), paying particular attention to its use of doppelgangers and its indebtedness to Callanan’s English romantic contemporaries, makes it clear that Callanan occupied a conflicted, dual poetic space, informed by a desire to bring to light, in a fully sympathetic way, the Irish-speaking culture that was still flourishing in rural Ireland in the 1820s, but also recognising the force of Ireland’s English-speaking culture, grounded in a colonialist confidence, that had come to dominate Irish poetry in the eighteenth century.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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