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Chapter 1 - The War Observed

from Part I - After the War: Ideologies in Transition

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 February 2020

Eve Patten
Affiliation:
Trinity College Dublin
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Summary

This chapter reconsiders the cultural condition of 1940s Ireland in the context of wartime neutrality, exploring the literary response to the hostilities in Ireland itself, north and south, and the complex positioning of the writers involved who treated its effects on a domestic landscape, including Máirtín Ó Cadhain, Kate O’Brien, Elizabeth Bowen and Benedict Kiely. How did Irish writers respond to the aftermath of the Second World War and, in particular, the filtering of information about the Holocaust? The Irish author and playwright Denis Johnston, a BBC correspondent in the Middle East for much of the conflict, represents one of those with direct experience of the action and its diplomatic fallout. This chapter challenges a historical acceptance that Ireland became increasingly insular and detached as a result of its wartime political neutrality, and identifies instead a set of important literary engagements driven by the wider horizon of the conflict.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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  • The War Observed
  • Edited by Eve Patten, Trinity College Dublin
  • Book: Irish Literature in Transition, 1940–1980
  • Online publication: 28 February 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108616348.003
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  • The War Observed
  • Edited by Eve Patten, Trinity College Dublin
  • Book: Irish Literature in Transition, 1940–1980
  • Online publication: 28 February 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108616348.003
Available formats
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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.

  • The War Observed
  • Edited by Eve Patten, Trinity College Dublin
  • Book: Irish Literature in Transition, 1940–1980
  • Online publication: 28 February 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108616348.003
Available formats
×