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Renaissance city of literature

From its Nobel laureates to its literary festivals, modern-day Dublin lives up to its role as a literary capital. The question of whether Ireland experienced a cultural and literary Renaissance has received increasing scholarly attention in recent years. This book extends the discussion by engaging with the specific literary culture of its capital city. It begins with an argument for the internationalised literary culture of late medieval Dublin by an analysis of James Yonge's 'Memoriale'. The citizens of Dublin engaged with and actively read texts imported from London, as Dublin's own printing was limited. The book presents case studies that establish Dublin as an emerging city of Renaissance literature by focusing on Edmund Spenser's political and social connections and by examining the literature of complaint emanating from late Elizabethan Dublin. It analyses the constructed authorial personae of Richard Bellings, James Shirley and Henry Burnell residing in Dublin, and discusses the concepts of literary friendship. Sir James Ware's scholarly achievements are analysed and his extensive intellectual community are investigated, revealing an open-minded Dublin community. In addition to being a representative Renaissance activity, translation was harnessed in the country as an 'instrument of state', as shown by translations of Gaelic poetry. The Renaissance literary production in Dublin had a multi-linguistic character with Latin orations taking place in the Trinity College Dublin. The book also addresses the question of whether the English-language drama composed and staged in Restoration Dublin is most accurately described as Anglo-Irish drama or 'English drama written in Ireland'.

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Gaelic poetry and English books
Mícheál MacCraith

8 Omnia vincit amor: Gaelic poetry and English books Mícheál Mac Craith Gaelic Ireland is somewhat under-represented in studies of the Renaissance. While two recent volumes of essays, edited by Thomas Herron and Michael Potterton in 2007 and 2011, for example, clearly disprove the commonly held view that Ireland was untouched by the Renaissance, the editors would be the first to admit weaknesses in coverage.1 Each volume, in fact, contains only four chapters on the Gaelic world. Emmet O’ Byrne’s contribution describing the efforts of the Tudor state to tighten

in Dublin
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Emer Nolan

of Ireland in which the Irish language, traditional music, Gaelic poetry and the ballad tradition assume a new prominence. (Only McAliskey speaks Irish well but, for example, O’Brien reports that she is glad to know a little of the language, as its rhythm is so ‘rich and intoxicating … I remember all the poems I learned in Irish and so on’.16) Several write about their deep attachment to an Irish rural landscape that testifies to the struggles of earlier generations in its ruined monuments or in the almost erased dwelling places even of comparatively recent times

in Five Irish women
Linden MacIntyre

Breton Island: 1981. CCBP, 1981. LP. 5 Seamus Heaney, ‘At a Potato Digging’, Death of a Naturalist (London: Faber & Faber, 1966), p. 20. 6 Peter MacKay, Sorley MacLean: Aberdeen Introductions to Irish and Scottish Culture (Aberdeen: AHRC Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies, 2010), p. 46. 7 Ibid. 8 Ibid., pp. 48–9. 9 S. Heaney, A Boy Driving His Father To Confession (Frensham: Sceptre Press, 1970). 10 S. Heaney, Door into the Dark (London: Faber & Faber, 1969), p. 24. 11 MacKay, Sorley MacLean, p. 46. 12 Sorley MacLean, ‘On realism in Gaelic poetry’, in

in John McGahern
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Rachael Gilmour

facing-page Scots–English ‘translation’, offer something of a pastiche of the conventions of English translation in both Scots and Gaelic poetry, and a play on the assumed relationship between a hard-to-read ‘original’ and an accessible translated ‘copy’. His Scots is neither a conventional literary Scots nor a version of everyday spoken Scots – which he, in any case, does not speak.28 Rather, it is a postmodern, flamboyantly artificial techno-Scots: a MacDiarmidian synthetic, salvaged, and invented language combining neologisms, found and obscure words trawled from

in Bad English
Cheating at Canasta
Paul Delaney

poorbox in John McGahern’s ‘The Recruiting Officer’; the understated reaction of Father Meade is also at odds with the brutal response of the Canon in McGahern’s excruciating short story. John McGahern, ‘The Recruiting Officer’, in Nightlines (London: Faber and Faber, 1970), pp. 151–67. 11 Daniel Corkery’s The Hidden Ireland: A Study of Gaelic Munster in the Eighteenth Century (Dublin: M.H. Gill & Son, 1924) is an influential work of cultural recovery which explores the lost world of eighteenth-century rural Ireland by way of an analysis of Munster Gaelic poetry. The

in William Trevor
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Author:

At a time when monolingualist claims for the importance of ‘speaking English’ to the national order continue louder than ever, even as language diversity is increasingly part of contemporary British life, literature becomes a space to consider the terms of linguistic belonging. Bad English examines writers including Tom Leonard, James Kelman, Suhayl Saadi, Raman Mundair, Daljit Nagra, Xiaolu Guo, Leila Aboulela, Brian Chikwava, and Caroline Bergvall, who engage multilingually, experimentally, playfully, and ambivalently with English’s power. Considering their invented vernaculars and mixed idioms, their dramatised scenes of languaging – languages learned or lost, acts of translation, scenes of speaking, the exposure and racialised visibility of accent – it argues for a growing field of contemporary literature in Britain pre-eminently concerned with language’s power dynamics, its aesthetic potentialities, and its prosthetic strangeness. Drawing on insights from applied linguistics and translation studies as well as literary scholarship, Bad English explores contemporary arguments about language in Britain – in debates about citizenship or education, in the media or on Twitter, in Home Office policy and asylum legislation – as well as the ways they are taken up in literature. It uncovers both an antagonistic and a productive interplay between language politics and literary form, tracing writers’ articulation of linguistic alienation and ambivalence, as well as the productivity and making-new of radical language practices. Doing so, it refutes the view that language difference and language politics are somehow irrelevant to contemporary Britain and instead argues for their constitutive centrality to the work of novelists and poets whose inside/outside relationship to English in its institutionalised forms is the generative force of their writing.

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The Dindshenchas Érenn and a national poetics of space
Amy C. Mulligan

-slaying, in Toner, ‘Landscape and Cosmology’, p. 274. 60 Basso, Wisdom , p. 83. 61 Basso, Wisdom , pp. 76–7. 62 MD II.18–19. 64 Cited in Piotr Stalmaszczyk, ‘Geographical Names in Gaelic Poetry: Function and Problems with Translation’, Ainm 5 (1991), 72. 65 Séan Ó Coileáin

in A landscape of words
Elisabeth Bronfen
and
Beate Neumeier

Macpherson’s own imaginative reconstructions and the aural remains of Gaelic poetry offered up in Fingal (1761) and Temora (1763). Here, too, the poems mark their formal and thematic difference from the nascent Gothic aesthetic, for, if there was one thing on which the opinion of Antiquarians, scholars and politicians concurred, it was that Gothic mobilized an anti

in Gothic Renaissance