feared nor frustrated, though that image
itself may owe as much to Jack’s imagination as to fact, as Michael’s
own memories of that golden summer of 1936 do. It is nonetheless striking that Friel should pit the sterility of Irishculture, deprived of any
continuity with its pagan Celtic roots, against the joyous celebrations
and dances of Africa perceived as a repository of a universal sense of
the sacred. Africa though, is beyond the reach of the sisters, whose only
choice appears to be either a frugal, lonely life in Ballybeg or emigration to London. A culture that
passage schemes, the predominantly servant and labouring
status of workers, and their mainly Catholic backgrounds all contributed to
the constructed inferiority of the Irish in nineteenth-century Australia
However, as O’Farrell (2000: 313) remarks: ‘one of multiculturalism’s
unintended side-effects was to gradually make Irishness respectable: by 2000
the days of it being a social liability were well over’. In Australia as in the USA,
Irishculture became commodified as ‘global audiences became more attuned
to the consumption of Irishness in print
100 years of Ireland in National Geographic magazine
Patrick J. Duffy
with an American divorcée.
Traditional Irish storyteller.
Arensberg, C. M. and Kimball, S. T. (1940) Family and Community in Ireland.
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
100 years of Ireland in National Geographic
Bell, D. (1995) ‘Picturing the landscape: Die grune insel: tourist images of Ireland’,
European Journal of Communication 10, 1: 41–62.
Brett, D. (1996) The Construction of Heritage. Cork: Cork University Press.
Gibbons, L. (1996) Transformations in IrishCulture. Cork: Cork University Press.
Kirby, P., Gibbons, L. and Cronin, M. (2002
interculturalism as a viable, enriching possibility for both natives and immigrants. He experiences the encounter
with foreigners as a threat to traditional Irishculture and values. Doyle’s characterisation of the Minister for the Arts and Ethnicity as a thug with no cultural
sensitivity poses the question of how genuine the Irish government is in terms
of accepting the ethnic minorities in Ireland unconditionally. As we find out
later, the Minister is a wolf in sheep’s clothing who, far from representing and
promoting cultural understanding, is actually in charge of keeping
representations of the migrant Other and its location in Irishculture. Questions will be posed as to the kind of images of the city that emerge,
the tales we hear, who conveys and who receives them, and the depiction of the
The Dublin Trilogy was written and premiered between 1995 and 1998. A
production of Mercier’s Passion Machine Theatre Company, the trilogy includes
Buddleia (1995), Kitchensink (1997), and Native City (1998), providing an indepth chronicle of Ireland’s capital city and its people (White, 1998: 2). The
staging of Native City brought
Street photography, humanism and the loss of innocence
verbally’ (1984: 116),
and Marie de Paor has contended that ‘Native Irishculture survived in words and
traditional music’ (1993: 120). In fact, the perceived ‘absence of a visual tradition
in Ireland, equal in stature to its powerful literary counterpart’, as Luke Gibbons
once described it (1986: 10), has been central to debates on the identification of
culturally differentiated practices of seeing and representation that may characterise a distinct Irish visual culture (Carville 2007, 2011; Dalsimer and Kreilkamp
1993; McBride 1984; McCole 2007).
However, there are two
expressions of Catholic and Irish identity
state were also very concerned to further the aim of restoring the Irish
language and culture to its rightful position and they did this chiefly by
means of the education system. Church and political interests had the
same vision of the purity and distinctiveness of Irishculture and were
equally concerned to restore, maintain and protect what was seen as
the unique Irish Catholic identity from what were perceived to be alien
influences emanating from abroad. Independence made it possible to
copper-fasten Catholic identity and
culture, as well as Irishculture, Roman
culture, the Normans, as well as the Jewish communities who
arrived after the Norman Conquest only to be expelled 200 years
later, among many other arrivals.11 The political meaning of the
Hugin is perhaps most clearly expressed when it is situated alongside the arrival of another vessel that docked in Tilbury, Essex, the
year before: HMT Empire Windrush, which brought one of the
first large groups of West Indian migrants to the UK. The history
of the Hugin is another example of medievalist double consciousness: an event that
frustrations that he felt with the production of a distinctly Irish body of literature, and with the general paucity of activity among Irish writers goes some
way towards explaining why he decided to attempt to publish The Bell. That he
should go so far as to see the Mass Observation of Irish society as it was lived as
necessary is a testament to what he perceived as the barrenness of Irishculture.
O’Faoláin was starting from first principles, asking: what is Irishculture,
how do the Irish actually live? Without such information a comprehensive picture of Ireland would be
editors’ failure to find content that was relevant to a
modern Irish market. O’Faoláin may have been idealistic in trying to start from
scratch and build the edifice of Irishculture anew, but The Bell and its writers
left an important mark on the Irish cultural imagination.
Ireland’s youth in the decade when The Bell stumbled towards its demise,
were not interested enough in the magazine to ensure its survival; it had lost its
ability to engage and was overtaken by other fora. Yet its legacy remains assured
because it uniquely crystallised the faults of an