and Politics (Dublin, 1991); Maryann Valiulis, ‘Power, Gender and Identity in
the Irish Free State’, in Joan Hoff and Moureen Coulter (eds), Irish Women’s
Voices: Past and Present (Bloomington, 1995), pp. 117–136.
2 Ryan, Gender, Identity, p. 42.
4 Ibid., p. 49.
5 Brozyna, Labour, Love and Prayer, p. 27.
6 Jan Jindy Pettman, ‘Boundary Politics: Women, Nationalism and Danger’,
in Mary Maynard and June Purvis (eds), New Frontiers in Women’s Studies:
Knowledge, Identity and Nationalism (London, 1996), p. 195.
7 Mahood, The Magdalenes, p. 165.
Textual spectrality and Finnegans Wake
to (1) go beyond sectarian politics to unify Ireland under a single
national identity, (2) present a strong interest in Irishculture and
life including an interest in origins of Irishculture to be found in
folklore and Celtic mythology, (3) show that Ireland was not the
home of buffoonery and easy sentiment as suggested by the stage
Irishman of the Victorian period (4), create Irish art that is distinctly
non-English, and (5) see life through Irish eyes.33
Joyce, however, rejected the methods of Revivalist artists, in
significant emphasis on
the schooling of girls and young women, a feature distinctively lacking in the
The final chapter considers the rise in devotional activity and associational
or organisational culture between 1870 and 1900. The confraternities, sodalities, societies and associations that were introduced, largely by the middle
class, worked to further consolidate the Catholic population. Although Irishculture would remain a distinctive element in the character of Catholicism,
an increasingly united Scottish working-class consciousness and
The public meanings of emigration and the shaping of emigrant selves in post- war Ireland, 1945– 1969
networks in which intending migrants were enmeshed, but they also included the ‘cultural circuit’ by which personal understandings of self were fashioned through articulation with wider constructions of emigrant identity circulating within post-war Irishculture.
It is here important to recognise that, although the post-war crisis replenished conventional narratives of exile, it also fuelled a wide-ranging debate over the causes, consequences and remedies of emigration, contributing to a wider contestation of the Catholic-nationalist settlement which had come into
behaviour. Texts like Philomena affirm the legitimacy and reality of such experiences, requiring that audiences face ‘a history that Irish society prefers not to acknowledge’ while also shattering ‘the culturally imposed closed ranks’ on taboo subjects like rape, gender-based discrimination, and domestic violence.
Although the theme of motherhood has long been ‘ubiquitous’ in Irishculture, it is only in recent times that Irish women have begun to speak as mothers
07 Insubordinate Irish 091-102
Narrative and the Irish imaginary:
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold
(The Second Coming – W. B. Yeats)
Traditionally post-colonialism has read Irishculture through its inherited dichotomy of colonised/coloniser and empowered/disempowered
thereby replicating imperialist power structures of old; the reading of
the two primary strands within the representative discourse explored
here points rather to the atypicality, the nomadic qualities, of Ireland’s
The question, however, is to what extent there is a connection between the level
of communication between husbands and wives in relation to sex up to the 1970s
and the level of communication in religious houses between nuns, priests and
brothers – in particular, among those running specialised institutions – about sex,
repressed desire, self-denial. In what way did the laity embody the habitus of the
religious? In what way were the hiding, silencing and repression of sex, in Irishculture generally, linked to the way brothers, priests and nuns related to and treated
projecting or protecting ‘Irish difference’ but in analysing the complex historical
processes through which ideas about Irish difference have been discursively
produced, circulated and resisted. Seamus Deane’s genealogy of ‘national
character’, in all its taxonomic complexity, through two centuries of Irish writing is
perhaps the exemplary instance here.8 Again, the efflorescence of Irishculture at
the beginning of the twentieth century known as the Revival is instructive. Here
we see Irish writers repudiating certain nineteenth-century conceptions
which accommodates the culture of the newly
The effects of Ireland’s multiethnic reality are also observed in the multiplicity
of literary texts by Irish writers, both male and female, which engage simultaneously with issues of nationhood and ethnicity. Ever since Donal O’Kelly’s
production for the Abbey Theatre in 1994, Asylum! Asylum!, there has been a
profusion of literary productions by Irish artists exploring the presence of the
migrant Other in Irishculture and social life. One of the first Irish-born writers
to delve into the changing
English political and economic machine, tended to become Anglicized,
ironically enough there was a gradual withdrawal of the Anglo-Irish nation
from its dependency on the English mother-culture, and an effort to identify
with the older Irishculture’ (1995c:220). However, for Ó Tuama, it is a
process of assimilation between the two groups, the ‘mass of Irish people’
and the ‘Anglo-Irish nation’, that only goes so far because the Irish language is lost by the majority and the resulting Anglo-Irish literary tradition
will never have an ‘individual Irish way of seeing and