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Authority and vision

John McGahern is one of those writers whose work continues to be appreciated across a range of readerships. As a writer who eschewed the notion of himself as 'artist' he addressed his task through a commitment to style, what he called the 'revelation of the personality through language'. McGahern's work began to receive critical attention only from when Denis Sampson's seminal study, Outstaring Nature's Eye: The Fiction of John McGahern was published in 1993. This book focuses on the physical landscape to show how the inadequacy of the State that emerged after 1922 is reflected in the characters' shifting relationship with the landscape, the connection has been made vulnerable through trauma and painful memory. It explores this sense of resentment and disillusionment in McGahern's novels, drawing parallels between the revolutionary memories and McGahern's own family experience. McGahern's All Over Ireland offers a number of fine stories, mostly set in Ireland, and dealing with distinctly Irish themes. He wrote a novel that is an example of openness, compassion and understanding for any form of strangeness. The vision of education and of the shaping of identity found in his writing is not an idiosyncratic one - it is consistent with much of the best thought within the tradition of liberal education. The book provides an intriguing comparison between McGahern and Flannery O'Connor, illustrating how diverse stories share an underlying current of brutality, demonstrating their respective authors' preoccupation with a human propensity towards evil.

Jeffrey Richards

’s equivalent of Ford as a director returning regularly to Irish themes is Brian Desmond Hurst. Hurst was a Belfast-born Protestant who worked with Ford in Hollywood in the silent days before returning to Britain to launch his own directorial career in 1932. Despite working in a wide variety of genres which include adaptations of Dickens ( Scrooge ) and Ivor Novello ( Glamorous Night ), he managed a number

in ‘An Irish Empire’?
Critical essays on W. G. Sebald

In an essay "Ein Versuch der Restitution (An Attempt at Restitution)" delivered as a form of a speech at the opening of Stuttgart's House of Literature, W. G. Sebald asked about the usefulness of literature. This book illustrates some of the recurring concerns of, and tensions in, Sebald's writing: the interanimation of historical and literary discourses, and the clash of individual and collective memories. The coincidence of life and death, and the collision of documentary evidence with the contingent powers of the imagination are also explored. The first set of essays is devoted to issues of translation and style, and explores the revisionist potential of translation, and the question of translation into Sebald's poetry. It is argued that Sebald sought to follow Franz Kafka's stricture through the strategic deployment of 'unwords'. The book examines Sebald's prose works with a reading of Vertigo as an exercise in Surrealist literary historiography, and suggests that The Emigrants can be read as a contest between vision and obscurity. The implications of historical blind spots are pursued in the reading of Anglo-Irish themes in The Rings of Saturn. The various fragments of Sebald's aborted 'Corsica Project' offer a precious glimpse into a work-in-progress. The book investigates the extent to which H.G. Adler's work functions as a key intertext for Austerlitz, and helped determine Sebald's role and identity as a writer attempting to render aspects of the Holocaust. It also explores the two key aspects of Sebald's aesthetic technique, namely prose and photography.

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Taking the Green Road
Emer Nolan

The chapter considers the novels and non-fiction of Anne Enright, winner of the Man Booker Prize in 2007 for The gathering. It traces the trajectory of her fiction towards a revamped version of Irish realism, with a focus on her most recent novel, The Green Road. It considers Enright’s evolving attitudes towards the nation and Irish literary traditions. The chapter discusses her memoir of motherhood and some of her other reflections on her development as a writer. It is argued that Enright belongs to a later moment than the other women considered here, as a person upon whom the burden of the Irish past appears to sit more lightly. Nevertheless, she engages with recognisably Irish themes such as emigration, child abuse, the Celtic Tiger boom/bust and rural life.

in Five Irish women
Visualising a changing city

Delving into a hitherto unexplored aspect of Irish art history, Painting Dublin, 1886–1949 examines the depiction of Dublin by artists from the late-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Artists’ representations of the city have long been markers of civic pride and identity, yet in Ireland, such artworks have been overlooked in favour of the rural and pastoral, falling outside of the dominant disciplinary narratives of nationalism or modernism. Framed by the shift from city of empire to capital of an independent republic, this book chiefly examines artworks by of Walter Frederick Osborne (1857–1903), Rose Mary Barton (1856–1929), Jack Butler Yeats (1871–1957), Harry Aaron Kernoff (1900–74), Estella Frances Solomons (1882–1968), and Flora Hippisley Mitchell (1890–1973), encompassing a variety of urban views and artistic themes. While Dublin is renowned for its representation in literature, this book will demonstrate how the city was also the subject of a range of visual depictions, including those in painting and print. Focusing on the images created by these artists as they navigated the city’s streets, this book offers a vivid visualisation of Dublin and its inhabitants, challenging a reengagement with Ireland’s art history through the prism of the city and urban life.

The theme of the Anglo-Irish in Die Ringe des Saturn. Eine englische Wallfahrt
Helen Finch

conspirator, Fergus Kilpatrick, and his great-grandson, Ryan, who is writing the narrative of Kilpatrick’s life. As he researches, he discovers that Kilpatrick’s biography seems entirely copied from existing works of literature: ‘The idea that history might have copied history is mind-boggling enough; that history should copy literature is inconceivable’ (Borges 1998: 144). Given the story’s arch introduction, scholars are divided as to whether the Irish theme is an essential part of the Borges story, or whether it invokes Ireland entirely ‘for convenience’s sake’, as ‘a

in A literature of restitution
Ruth Barton

(John Crowley, 2003), Shadow Dancer (James Marsh, 2012) , and The Wind That Shakes the Barley (Ken Loach, 2005) . Overall, Flynn and Tracy ( 2016 : 50) concluded that the IFB was most focused on productions that displayed market potential, even if they had no Irish theme, in order to sustain industrial activity. In fact, as we see below, this is also the practice of production companies, many of whom seem to be using non-Irish-themed co-productions to maintain cash flow. The IFB’s 2016–20 strategy plan (IFB/BSÉ, 2016 ) acknowledges the Board’s previous

in Irish cinema in the twenty-first century
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Ruth Barton

stars Liev Schreiber, Elias Koteas and Romola Garai. Although all Robinson’s work has received Irish funding, none of it is Irish set or Irish themed. What is interesting, in terms of Mancovich’s argument, is how Robinson has moved freely between animation, live action and CGI, retaining a very similar look to his productions. In terms of the wider Irish animation sector, his output reflects the trend towards focusing on non-Irish settings and narratives. Animation and national cinema Animation’s ability to, as Paul Wells ( 2002 : 69) has argued

in Irish cinema in the twenty-first century
Celtic Tiger cinema
Ruth Barton

is significant about the listing of films in 2007 is that they were all either Irish productions, or Irish/European co-­productions with an Irish theme or location. During that year, Ireland failed to attract any foreign feature film productions, although the country hosted a substantial number of foreign television productions, notably The Tudors. The reason for this disparity was that in Ireland the tax break system (Section 481) applied to television productions, whereas in competing territories it was available only for feature filmmaking. Also in 2007, eleven

in From prosperity to austerity
The Irish in Australia
Patricia M. O’Connor

, film and television fiction’ (Negra, 2006: 6) and Irish theme pubs (O’Mahoney, 2009). Claims to Irish ancestry further support this re-engagement with Irishness. Only 50,256 of Australia’s 19.9 million population were classified as Ireland-born in the 2006 census, yet ‘Irish’ accounted for 1.8 million responses under the ancestry question where up to two ancestries per person could be reported. This represented 7.1 per cent of the total ancestry responses recorded (Department of Immigration and Citizenship, n.d.), indicating that Irish heritage was no longer negative

in Migrations