Haunted historiographies

The rhetoric of ideology in postcolonial Irish fiction

Author: Matthew Schultz

The rhetoric of ideology haunts Irish fiction. In this book, I map these rhetorical hauntings across a wide range of postcolonial Irish novels, and define the specter as a non-present presence that simultaneously symbolizes and analyzes an overlapping of Irish myth and Irish history. By exploring this exchange between literary discourse and historical events, Haunted Historiographies provides literary historians and cultural critics a theory of the specter that exposes the various complex ways in which novelists remember, represent, and reinvent historical narrative. Haunted Historiographies juxtaposes canonical and non-canonical novels that complicate long-held assumptions about four definitive events in modern Irish history—the Great Famine, the Irish Revolution, the Second World War, and the Northern Irish Troubles—to demonstrate how historiographical Irish fiction from James Joyce and Samuel Beckett to Roddy Doyle and Sebastian Barry is both a product of Ireland’s colonial history, and also the rhetorical means by which a post-colonial culture has emerged.

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‘Although it is very much a monograph (single author, single idea) rather than a survey or text book, there is a likelihood that the focus on a range of well-known texts will recommend it to teachers and learners from the Irish Studies community around the world.'
Gerry Smyth, Liverpool John Moores University
The Canadian Journal of Irish Studies Vol. 39, No. 1

‘His is a generally well-informed study that makes ingenious use of the spectral in relation to a range of diverse texts.'
Emer Nolan, Maynooth University
James Joyce Quarterly, Volume 52, Number 1
Fall 2014

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