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Culture, criticism, theory since 1990
Scott Brewster

and departure, native and foreign, art and politics, Irish and Anglo-Irish, the Gaelic and English tongues. The soft furnishings also showcase Irish writing in its broad sense: literary and political writing, and both official languages in Ireland (we could also braid in Ulster-Scots, Hiberno-English and so on). This intricately layered fabric, with its subtle range of shades, might give material articulation to Declan Kiberd’s vision of Irish cultural studies as a multicoloured quilt.1 Yet the celebration of Irish writing is not only an expression of national

in Irish literature since 1990
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British masculinities, pomophobia, and the post-nation
Berthold Schoene

of masculinist and nationalist discourses within a patriarchal context and, moreover, to disclose the representational symptoms of these discourses’ critical decline as interpellative models of successful self-identification in post-imperial Britain. Finally, shifting its focus to a discussion of masculine modes of self-representation in contemporary Scottish men’s writing, the essay highlights the utopian potentialities of subnational emancipation; at the same time, it questions the ultimate political viability of any devolutionary attempt to move beyond

in Across the margins
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James Schuyler
David Herd

own right and in a very rich sense a continuation of his poetry. In presenting his enthusiasm I want to show how, in the process and experience of composing, Schuyler opened his writing up: to other voices, but also, as he was able confidently to put it in ‘Slowly’ (a poem which originated in The Diary) to ‘the what of which you are a part’; where ‘the what’ was, as Schuyler called it, ‘life’ – as distinct from a Romantic ‘nature’, or, say, from a Heideggerean sense of ‘being’ – and with which he understood himself to be continuous. What an enthusiastic reading of

in Enthusiast!
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A short essay on enthusia
David Herd

floods of life stream around and through us, and invite us by the powers they supply, to action proportioned to nature, why should we grope among the dry bones of the past, or put the living generation into masquerade out of its faded wardrobe? The sun shines to-day also. There is more wool and flax in the fields. There are new lands, new men, new thoughts. Let us demand our own works and laws and worship.1 Emerson’s intention in writing Nature, and in writing its introductory section in particular – with its unanswered questions and its heightened demands – was to

in Enthusiast!
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The ‘outside’ in poetry in the 1980s and 1990s
Linden Peach

inadequately given the space available, the variety of work that became available in these decades. It hardly needs pointing out that the poetry scene has changed since the publication of British Poetry Since 1970, in which Blake Morrison stereotyped the published poet as writing from a ‘nostalgic liberal humanism’ with ‘strong respect for “traditional” forms, even strict metre and rhyme’ (Jones and Schmidt 1980: 142). Morrison said as much two years later in the introduction to The Penguin Book of Contemporary British Poetry (1982: 11). But, as Robert Hampson and Peter

in Across the margins
The inflection of desire in Yvonne Vera and Tsitsi Dangarembga
Elleke Boehmer

’s sexuality, especially in so far as sexuality remains the dark secret of the Third World nation. Queer sexuality, in point of fact, probably still constitutes what could best be termed a virtual nonpresence, or at least a covert silencing, an ‘unsaying’, in postcolonial discourses generally and in African writing in particular.3 It is a surprising omission or occlusion considering that, since the 1960s, postcolonial theory and criticism have grown up in tandem with the emergence of a politics of identity and cultural difference, and are deeply informed by discourses of

in Stories of women
The structures of migration in Tales from Firozsha Baag
Peter Morey

to receive a more extended treatment in his subsequent novels, they can all be seen at work in the lives of the characters who inhabit the eponymous Bombay apartment block. Indicative of Mistry’s style is a subtle, but increasingly sophisticated and insistent, temporal weaving of past and present, enabling an exploration of characters and their motivations, and of the intricate tangle of cause and effect which directs events on both personal and national levels. Likewise, symbols are never static in Mistry’s writing. Places, water, music, the weather, cooking

in Rohinton Mistry
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Writing home in recent Irish memoirs and autobiographies (John McGahern’s Memoir, Hugo Hamilton’s The Speckled People, Seamus Deane’s Reading in the Dark and John Walsh’s The Falling Angels)
Stephen Regan

9780719075636_4_013.qxd 16/2/09 9:29 AM Page 232 13 ‘Sacred spaces’: writing home in recent Irish memoirs and autobiographies (John McGahern’s Memoir, Hugo Hamilton’s The Speckled People, Seamus Deane’s Reading in the Dark and John Walsh’s The Falling Angels) Stephen Regan One of the familiar conventions of autobiography is its revelation of an individual life through a compelling first-person narrative voice. To work upon its readers most effectively, autobiography needs to present the life in question as both unique and typical; it must offer an appealing

in Irish literature since 1990
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Baconian rhetoric and the New Atlantis
Sarah Hutton

writer, or a ‘dissociated sensibility’, in T. S. Eliot’s phrase. Nevertheless, Bacon’s impatience with stylistic affectation is well known from his own comments: ‘eloquence and copie of speech’ is, he writes in The Advancement of Learning, ‘the first distemper of learning, when men study words and not matter’.2 In conjunction with this repudiation of ornamental excess, Bacon’s preference for an unadorned style of writing for the communication of natural philosophy, in particular his recommendation of the aphorism for the purpose, apparently confirms his antipathy to

in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis
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Speaking of Ireland
Colin Graham

, tries to break through to ‘the people’, his object of study, by forcing himself through another physiological trauma which brings him face to face with the evidence of ‘their’ literal body politic. The quivering of Michelet’s nostrils may be comically deflationary, in the first instance (like Memmi’s intellectuals Michelet could be missing the substance of history, experiencing the nightmare of loss while dreaming delusions of grandeur), but his descent downstairs, his leaving of the sanctity of his own house and place of writing, and his self-degradation in primal

in Across the margins