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Irish literary history through Balzac, Sheridan Le Farm, Yeats and Bowen

It is a central thesis that nineteenth-century Ireland went through a series of traumatic processes of modernization, which have been denied and repressed in their aftermath. The mediated presence of Sheridan Le Fanu and Honore de Balzac in the work of W.B. Yeats brings to a head political questions of the utmost gravity, the most notable being Yeats's engagement with fascism. Le Fanu has been persistently aligned with a so-called Irish gothic tradition. The objective in this book is to observe the historical forces inscribed in Le Fanu's distinctive non-affiliation to this doubtful tradition. The book presents a French response to Charles Maturin's gothic work, Melmoth the Wanderer, which is followed by discussion of a triangular pattern linking Balzac, Le Fanu and Yeats. This is followed by an attempt to pay concentrate attention within the texts of Le Fanu's novels and tales, with only a due regard for the historical setting of Le Fanu's The House by the Churchyard. An admirer of Le Fanu's fiction, Elizabeth Bowen adopted some of the stock-in-trade of the ghost story to investigate altered experiences of reality under the blitz. A detailed examination of her The Heat of the Day serves to reopen questions of fixity of character, national identity and historical reflexivity. In this work, the empty seat maintained for the long dead Guy might be decoded as a suitably feeble attempt to repatriate Le Fanu's Guy Deverell from an English to an Irish 1950s setting.

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Room for more: the future for Maturin research

including, among others, Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850) and Charles Baudelaire (1821–67). For the former, Maturin’s influence is apparent throughout his career, from early works such as Le centenaire (1822), with its focus on, in Patricia Coughlan’s terms, ‘a ghastly three-hundred-year-old geriatric who needs to ravish fresh young corpses regularly to sustain his life’, 16 to later works like

in Charles Robert Maturin and the haunting of Irish Romantic fiction

. 5 See W. J. Mc Cormack Ascendancy and Tradition in Anglo-Irish Literary History from 1789 to 1939 Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985 pp. 364-6. 6 Honoré de Balzac Séraphita [and other tales] (trans. Clara Bell) Sawtry, Cambs.: Dedalus, 1989 p. 151

in Dissolute characters

12 Transactions (1880–1) p. 248. 13 Honore de Balzac Séraphita Paris: Librairie Gründ, (n.d.) p. 21. 14 Balzac Séraphita [and other tales] (trans. Clara Bell

in Dissolute characters

reason sought to replace God with Rousseau, the engineer-mystic Swedenborg provided a comprehensive system according to which nature in all its proliferating and newly classified detail could be read as symbolic of spiritual values. In each case, a compact between an infinite and unchanging realm and the tangible here-and-now was attempted. Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850) is

in Dissolute characters
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/ text for Anglophone readers is Honore de Balzac Gillette; or The Unknown Masterpiece (trans., with an essay by Anthony Rudolf) London: Menard Press, 1988. 5 Sir Henry Ashwoode, the Forger: a Chronicle of Old Dublin City London: Parry & Co., 1851, 3

in Dissolute characters
Abjection and revelation in Le Fantôme de l’Opéra

novels of Victor Hugo, especially Notre Dame de Paris from 1831 (long recognized as a precursor of Le Fantôme de l’Opéra), and, on the other hand, to the stinging portraits of bourgeois hypocrisy in the ironic novels and novellas of Honoré de Balzac. In Le Fantôme, as a matter of fact, I find several direct reminders of Balzac’s Sarrasine (1830), that complex

in European Gothic
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Spectres of Maturin; or, the ghosts of Irish Romantic fiction

consideration of Maturin’s ghostly influence in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Irish, British, European, and American fiction. By pointing to the ways in which the spectres of Maturin might be detected in the works of authors as diverse as Honoré de Balzac, Charles Baudelaire, James Clarence Mangan, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Christina Rossetti, and Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, this book ends where it

in Charles Robert Maturin and the haunting of Irish Romantic fiction
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Talbot’s photographs to Professor Forbes, called them ‘the specimens of the Black Art’ (Fox Talbot, 2013 ). Honoré de Balzac advanced that each Daguerreotype had stripped away and fixed a vital part of the pictured subject, and others feared the loss of their soul or essence to this machine. In Champfleury’s humorous tale, ‘La Légende du daguerréotype’ (1857) a M. Balandard arrives

in Gothic effigy
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. Griffith’s conflation of E. A. Poe’s ‘The Cask of Amontillado’ (1846) and Honoré de Balzac’s ‘La Grande Bretêche’ (1831) (perhaps influenced by André Calmette’s own cinematic adaptation of Balzac’s story of a walled-up lover made in the same year), is the most uncompromising of early revenge films. Griffith has made the French court all low, obeisant bows, be-ribboned staffs and symbols of mortal

in Gothic effigy