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This study of contemporary Irish expatriate fiction offers a boldly original world-facing rather than nation-focused overview of the contemporary Irish novel. Chapters examine how Irish narrative deals with the United States in a time of declining global hegemony, a rising China and Asia, a thwarted and turbulent Global South, and a European Union that has decisively reshaped Ireland in the last half century. The author argues that in a late capitalist world defined by volatile economic and cultural globalizations, the Irish novel is struggling to imagine new ways to narrate the country's relationship to the world capitalist system and to find new place for Irish writing in the world literary system. Looking at a rapidly-changing Ireland in a rapidly-changing international order, Joe Cleary offers new readings of novels by Colm Tóibín, Anne Enright, Joseph O'Neill, Deirdre Madden, Mary Costello, Naoise Dolan, Aidan Higgins, Colum McCann, Ronan Sheehan and Ronan Bennett.
W. B. Yeats is recognised globally as one of the most significant poets of the past century. And yet, in his Nobel address, he singled out his work in the theatre as his main accomplishment. Yeats on Theatre restores Yeats not only a playwright, but as a writer and thinker who, over forty years, produced a body of theory covering all aspects of theatre, including the possibilities of performance space, the role of the audience and the nature of tragedy. When read as whole, in conjunction with his plays, letters, and extensive manuscript materials, Yeats's theatre writings emerge as a radical, cohesive, theatrical aesthetic, at odds with – and in advance of – the theatre of his time. Ultimately, the Yeats who takes shape in Yeats on Theatre is an artist who thinks through theatre, providing us with an urgently needed reassertion of the value of theatre as embodied thought.
A History of Irish Women's Poetry is a ground-breaking and comprehensive account of Irish women's poetry from earliest times to the present day. It reads Irish women's poetry through many prisms – mythology, gender, history, the nation – and most importantly, close readings of the poetry itself. It covers major figures, such as Máire Mhac an tSaoi, Eavan Boland, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, as well as neglected figures from the past. Writing in both English and Irish is considered, and close attention paid to the many different contexts in which Irish women's poetry has been produced and received, from the anonymous work of the early medieval period, through the bardic age, the coterie poets of Anglo-Ireland, the nationalist balladeers of Young Ireland, the Irish Literary Revival, and the advent of modernity. As capacious as it is diverse, this book is an essential contribution to scholarship in the field.
Seamus Deane was one of the most vital and versatile authors of our time. Small World presents an unmatched survey of Irish writing, and of writing about Irish issues, from 1798 to the present day. Elegant, polemical, and incisive, it addresses the political, aesthetic, and cultural dimensions of several notable literary and historical moments, and monuments, from the island's past and present. The style of Swift; the continuing influence of Edmund Burke's political thought in the USA; the echoing debates about national character; aspects of Joyce's and of Elizabeth Bowen's relation to modernism; memories of Seamus Heaney; analysis of the representation of Northern Ireland in Anna Burns's fiction – these topics constitute only a partial list of the themes addressed by a volume that should be mandatory reading for all those who care about Ireland and its history. The writings included here, from one of Irish literature's most renowned critics, have individually had a piercing impact, but they are now collectively amplified by being gathered together here for the first time between one set of covers. Small World: Ireland, 1798–2018 is an indispensable collection from one of the most important voices in Irish literature and culture.
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 public opinion. 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 (1846-1891). The authors reassess Parnell's impact on the Ireland of his time, its cultural, religious, political and intellectual life, in order to trace his posthumous influence into the early twentieth century in fields such as 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 early decades of the twenty-first century 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.
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.
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.
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.