The tragedy (and comedy) of accelerated modernisation
Kieran Keohane and Carmen Kuhling
This chapter shows that the experience of modernity and modernisation in contemporary Ireland is illustrative of the end of history as interpreted by the Hegelian/Marxist dialectic, and its decomposition into eternal recurrence and stasis as interpreted by the Nietzschean/Weberian end of Irish history. Part of the tragedy of development in the magical/terrible Faustian world of contemporary Ireland is that the casualties of accelerated modernisation are swept away by a tide of events that the actors in the contemporary Irish tragedy have helped to set in motion. The Great Hunger is usually taken to refer to the Famine of the 1840s, but for Patrick Kavanagh, the famine is a scarcity of spirituality in the 'modern Ireland' of the 1940s. John Kenny and Pat Short say that their comedy is inspired by the forms of life they are familiar with in Ireland's 'in-between' towns.