authentication rooted in a
pre-colonial, prelapsarian past that was equally essentialist. I argue here
that this ‘new’ Irish essentialism which accompanied the discourse of
the emergent nation-state employed an ideological framework of
‘control’ or ‘representation’ that was quite similar to that which had
accompanied British imperialism. This new essentialism was reductive
by nature and consequently it obscured the existence of heterogeneity
in Irishculture including subaltern groups such as Irish Travellers. As a
marginalised and stigmatised group within Irish society
Until McGahern’s treatment, the midlands were the landlocked heart of
Irishculture. His watering of the island’s core is the restitution of an
imaginative ideal to communities encircled by the post-independence
authority of Church and State (and in this spiritual romanticism there
is, perhaps, a hint of Pearse in McGahern’s lyrical formation, as there
is of Wordsworth). McGahern’s vision represents an aesthetic unwinding of the structures of representation, and expectation, which enchain
his characters in mental imprisonment. This is where the
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Single women in story and society
The family has been central to Irishculture and society, evincing an anxious preoccupation with marital and familial relationships. Familism is associated with
patriarchal systems in which the family is a valued social institution, supporting
traditional performances of gender and sexuality in heterosexual marriage. A
thorough understanding of the relations of ‘blood and marriage’ was crucial to a
1930s American anthropological study of Irish
English also discusses the interview as casting significant light on
evolving contemporary attitudes to death and dying in her Laying
out the bones: death and dying in the modern Irish novel (Syracuse,
NY: Syracuse University Press, 2017), pp. 1–5; English describes this
as a ‘visceral moment in Irishculture’, p. 4.
10 O’Faolain, Are you somebody?, p. 10.
11 Luke Dodd, ‘Nuala O’Faolain: obituary’, Guardian (12 May 2008).
12 Margaret O’Callaghan, ‘Women and politics in independent Ireland,
1921–68’, in Bourke et al. (eds), The Field Day anthology, vol. 5
with the places we inhabit.With this in mind, we have divided this collection into
three broad sections on cartography and geography, writing and narrative, and
place and Irishculture. These categories encompass several viewpoints through
which a reader can examine Robinson’s critical, creative and cultural output in
relation to many other disciplines and specific geographical spaces.
The esteemed landscape writer and critic from the UK, Robert Macfarlane,
begins the conversation of this collection in the Foreword by explaining
, inextricably linked
to economics in that it operates in the public sphere exclusively as a
business. Restaurants, hotels, bars and wine stores all exist with profit
as their ultimate motivator. In fact, Peillon discusses the tensions that
exist between culture and economic capital in Ireland and suggests that
the inimical relationship between the two is not something new in this
country (Peillon 2002, pp. 40–41). He cites Hutchinson and Kane, both
of whom intimate that, in various spheres of 1970s Ireland, culture was
seen to impede economic progress in some way. But it is
Easter 1916 and the advent of post-Catholic Ireland
mythology of modern Irishculture. At Swim, Two Boys
places gay lovers and ideals of homosexuality at the absolute core of
the Rising, thereby implying the revolutionary notion that Ireland
was in fact founded by and upon the principles of queer politics. A
Star Called Henry, while certainly invested in acknowledging class
divisions in early twentieth-century Dublin, also imagines feminist
characters as crucial participants in the rebellion.
I aim to highlight the ways in which Doyle and O’Neill reintegrate and intersect these previously suppressed social discourses
John McGahern is one of those writers whose work continues to be appreciated across a range of readerships. As a writer who eschewed the notion of himself as 'artist' he addressed his task through a commitment to style, what he called the 'revelation of the personality through language'. McGahern's work began to receive critical attention only from when Denis Sampson's seminal study, Outstaring Nature's Eye: The Fiction of John McGahern was published in 1993. This book focuses on the physical landscape to show how the inadequacy of the State that emerged after 1922 is reflected in the characters' shifting relationship with the landscape, the connection has been made vulnerable through trauma and painful memory. It explores this sense of resentment and disillusionment in McGahern's novels, drawing parallels between the revolutionary memories and McGahern's own family experience. McGahern's All Over Ireland offers a number of fine stories, mostly set in Ireland, and dealing with distinctly Irish themes. He wrote a novel that is an example of openness, compassion and understanding for any form of strangeness. The vision of education and of the shaping of identity found in his writing is not an idiosyncratic one - it is consistent with much of the best thought within the tradition of liberal education. The book provides an intriguing comparison between McGahern and Flannery O'Connor, illustrating how diverse stories share an underlying current of brutality, demonstrating their respective authors' preoccupation with a human propensity towards evil.
Literary Visions of Multicultural Ireland is the first full-length monograph in the market to address the impact that Celtic-Tiger immigration has exerted on the poetry, drama and fiction of contemporary Irish writers. The book opens with a lively, challenging preface by Prof. Declan Kiberd and is followed by 18 essays by leading and prestigious scholars in the field of Irish studies from both sides of the Atlantic who address, in pioneering, differing and thus enriching ways, the emerging multiethnic character of Irish literature. Key areas of discussion are: What does it mean to be ‘multicultural,’ and what are the implications of this condition for contemporary Irish writers? How has literature in Ireland responded to inward migration? Have Irish writers reflected in their work (either explicitly or implicitly) the existence of migrant communities in Ireland? If so, are elements of Irish traditional culture and community maintained or transformed? What is the social and political efficacy of these intercultural artistic visions? While these issues have received sustained academic attention in literary contexts with longer traditions of migration, they have yet to be extensively addressed in Ireland today. The collection will thus be of interest to students and academics of contemporary literature as well as the general reader willing to learn more about Ireland and Irish culture. Overall, this book will become most useful to scholars working in Irish studies, contemporary Irish literature, multiculturalism, migration, globalisation and transculturality. Writers discussed include Hugo Hamilton, Roddy Doyle, Colum McCann, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Dermot Bolger, Chris Binchy, Michael O'Loughlin, Emer Martin, and Kate O'Riordan, amongst others.
Through a discussion of spatial practice in Irish verbal and literary culture, the Conclusion paints an encompassing picture of the resilience and ubiquity of circling spatial practice in Irish culture. While this practice, literary and cultural, is rooted in the Middle Ages, it is nonetheless still prevalent and globally influential in contemporary literary culture, as evidenced by Seamus Heaney’s poetry. The conclusion emphasizes the circling poetical device of dúnad, but also considers various visual images of circling spatial schemes, including illuminated insular gospels, mazes or labyrinths, plans of Jerusalem holy structures, maps and depictions of the cosmos, as well as schemes of the ogam alphabet. Spatial practice, and circling movements through material and imaginative landscapes, are a driving force in diverse forms of Irish cultural production.