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The politics of enchantment
Author: Tara Stubbs

American literature and Irish culture, 1910–1955: the politics of enchantment discusses how and why American modernist writers turned to Ireland at various stages during their careers. By placing events such as the Celtic Revival and the Easter Rising at the centre of the discussion, it shows how Irishness became a cultural determinant in the work of American modernists. Each chapter deals with a different source of influence, considering the impact of family, the Celtic Revival, rural mythmaking, nationalist politics and the work of W. B. Yeats on American modernists’ writings. It is the first study to extend the analysis of Irish influence on American literature beyond racial, ethnic or national frameworks.

Through close readings, a sustained focus on individual writers, and in-depth archival research, American literature and Irish culture, 1910–1955 provides a balanced and structured approach to the study of the complexities of American modernist writers’ responses to Ireland. Offering new readings of familiar literary figures – including Fitzgerald, Moore, O’Neill, Steinbeck and Stevens – it makes for essential reading for students and academics working on twentieth-century American and Irish literature and culture, and transatlantic studies.

David Clare

7 John McGahern’s ‘Oldfashioned’ and Anglo-Irish culture David Clare In John McGahern’s 1985 short story ‘Oldfashioned’ he ably demonstrates why a sensitive, bookish, Catholic young man raised in the repressive, anti-intellectual Irish Free State might be attracted to the way of life being led by the country’s dwindling Church of Ireland population. Throughout ‘Oldfashioned’, McGahern suggests that Catholics in the young state are, in the main, overly fixated on money-making, gossip and a prosaic practicality, and that they are suspicious of anything that smacks

in John McGahern
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Sexuality, Catholicism and literature in twentieth-century Ireland

This book studies the twentieth-century Irish Catholic Bildungsroman. This comparative examination of six Irish novelists tracks the historical evolution of a literary genre and its significant role in Irish culture. With chapters on James Joyce and Kate O'Brien, along with studies of Maura Laverty, Patrick Kavanagh, Edna O'Brien and John McGahern, this book offers a fresh new approach to the study of twentieth-century Irish writing and of the twentieth-century novel. Combining the study of literature and of archival material, the book also develops a new interpretive framework for studying the history of sexuality in twentieth-century Ireland. The book addresses itself to a wide set of interdisciplinary questions about Irish sexuality, modernity and post-colonial development, as well as Irish literature.

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Michael G. Cronin

full implications of the repression and abuse, but without simply demonising a whole epoch and producing a narrative that merely confirms what we already knew. We need to acknowledge the dark and terrible events revealed in personal testimony and in the various reports, but the force of these revelations cannot paralyse our critical capacity to understand these issues historically. To examine the historical formation of ideas about sexuality in modern Irish culture, as this book attempts, is not to dismiss or deny the experience of sexual oppression in twentieth

in Impure thoughts
Tara Stubbs

Chapter 1 Cultural and racial (dis)affiliations And partly because Ireland is small enough To be still thought of with a family feeling1 A study of American modernism and Irish culture must necessarily begin with a consideration of family. The affiliations and disaffiliations to Ireland experienced by the American writers discussed in this chapter reveal a reading of ‘family’ as literal and metaphorical, building on the kind of familial intimacy implied by the ‘family feeling’ that MacNeice places, in the above lines, at the centre of the ‘small’ domestic sphere

in American literature and Irish culture, 1910–55
Open Access (free)
Culture, criticism, theory since 1990
Scott Brewster

9780719075636_4_002.qxd 16/2/09 9:23 AM Page 16 2 Flying high? Culture, criticism, theory since 1990 Scott Brewster Lucy McDiarmid begins her review of The Cambridge History of Irish Literature by reflecting on the upholstery of Aer Lingus seats, which features quotations from James Connolly, Yeats, Shaw, and lines from the sixteenth-century anonymous Gaelic lament for Kilcash. The quotations on the seats knit together the recurrent dynamics of Irish culture and society that have been interwoven since the twelfth century: tradition and modernity, arrival

in Irish literature since 1990
‘The Ballroom of Romance’
Tina O’Toole

6 The Ireland that we dreamed of?: ‘The Ballroom of Romance’ Tina O’Toole William Trevor’s short story ‘The Ballroom of Romance’ (1972) has attained iconic status in Irish culture in the forty years since its publication. The title and ambience of the story, evoking memories of dancehall days, partly explains this public appeal, which was enhanced by the BAFTA award-winning film adaptation of the story by Pat O’Connor (1982). The widespread recognition of and popular identification with the story may also be attributed to the fact that it opens up to scrutiny

in William Trevor
Open Access (free)
The Republic and Northern Ireland since 1990
Michael Parker

to examine and evaluate the literary voices that continue to enhance and enrich contemporary Irish culture. The book that follows consists of seventeen chapters focusing on the drama, poetry and autobiography fiction published since 1990, but also reflecting upon related forms of creative work in this period, including film and the visual and performing arts. The ‘diverse voices’ in the title refers not only to the variety of creative talents currently at work in Irish letters, but also to the range of perspectives brought to book here, from scholars scrutinising

in Irish literature since 1990
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Peter Barry

Songs and Wedding Song’), which was written in celebration of his marriage to Irish heiress Elizabeth Boyle. Spenser is a notorious figure in Irish culture, being an English writer who received land grants in Ireland as a reward for taking part (as secretary and administrator to the commander) in a ruthless and punitive ex­ pedition against the Irish. The poem (among other things) expresses his thanks to Queen Elizabeth for his rewards, though without saying what they were for. So I cannot find a specific ‘trigger’ for that wider historical context in this single

in Reading poetry
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Landscape and the lost republic
Nicholas Allen

floorboards. (10–11) Until McGahern’s treatment, the midlands were the landlocked heart of Irish culture. 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

in John McGahern