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.
gesturing towards an acknowledgement of Maturin’s literary
importance, more often than not confirms his peripheral position in the
annals of Irishliteraryhistory by reproducing him as a marginal
figure. In this respect, Irishliteraryhistory has largely erased
Maturin’s existence from the central narrative of early
nineteenth-century Irish literature, thereby effectively
‘un-Maturin[ing]’ Irish Romantic
Jesus or Judas?: Francis Stuart’s
Black List, Section H (1971)
The last thing in this world
Anyone I know
Would dare to be
Is wholly free.
That is, of course, with the exception
Of one man.
One man alone.
See what happened to him.
Brendan Kennelly, The
Little Book of Judas, 38
Despite the fact that he disdained nationality as a criterion for the
understanding of literature, Francis Stuart remains an important figure in modern Irishliteraryhistory, in significant part because of the
ways in which his work focuses questions pertaining to the
thriving – if one were to judge by the number of literary
histories published in recent years. Yet even the most sophisticated
of these retains a doggedly chronological method, and declines to
take up challenges posed by the diverse approaches evident in
– say – the long-running American journal New
-pane – these are
important registrations in Yeats’s personal account of Irishliteraryhistory.
These revisions interconnect with Yeats’s
practice as an author in the market-place. It is well known that he
aligned himself with William Morris’s brand of socialism
because it provided an alternative to the vulgarity of commercial
production in art and
fable to Le
Fanu’s fiction, we may be advised to relate it to some more
central figure in Irishliteraryhistory. The apocalypse, of course,
preoccupied W. B. Yeats, not only as an aspect of his theosophical
system but also as a metaphor in the political domain. ‘The
Second Coming’ links Lenin and Bethlehem in a pattern which
retains something of Balzac’s sardonic irony. Less
we associate with ‘the Gothic novel’ and ‘Irish Gothic’, e.g., medievalism; Catholic Continental settings; overt supernaturalism. But, as evidenced here, many of them do not, preferring instead contemporary time periods, local geography, and a more generalised recourse to romance. Attention to the apparent deviations and exceptions to the norm highlights the heterogeneous breadth that is eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Irish gothic literature. As it does so, it re-integrates the gothic into mainstream British and Irishliteraryhistory, revealing the striking
career) and its eternal (judgement). If
Uncle Silas co-exists as sensational novel and
metaphysical romance, the question remains as to how we place such a
work of literature in a reconsideration of Irishliteraryhistory.
We have then two distinct interventions, one of which may be
still in need of elaboration. Balzac’s Melmoth
Protestants, politics, and patriarchy in the novels of F. E. Crichton
‘The blind side of the heart’:
Protestants, politics, and patriarchy
in the novels of F. E. Crichton
he absence of Ulster women writers, particularly Ulster Protestant
women novelists, from the annals of Irishliteraryhistory is a phenomenon which has recently achieved some degree of critical attention.1 Due to
these recent efforts at recovering alternative Irish literary traditions, it has
become apparent that this absence is not attributable to the fact that such
women did not write books. On the contrary, archive research has uncovered more
assertion of an Irish identity is
possible or desirable, for such a declaration would lack complexity
of even the most elementary kind. Internally, in relation to the
fiction, her attitude can be compared to the Nietzschean
ressentiment of Robert Kelway. But in relation to Irishliteraryhistory, it stands in contrast to the politics of W. B.