This book focuses on the drama and poetry published since 1990. It also reflects upon related forms of creative work in this period, including film and the visual and performing arts. The book discusses some of the most topical issues which have emerged in Irish theatre since 1990. It traces the significance of the home in the poetry of Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and Vona Groarke. The book also focuses on the reconfigurations of identity, and the complex intersections of nationality, gender and race in contemporary Ireland. It shows how Roddy Doyle's return to the repressed gives articulation to those left behind by globalisation. The book then examines the ways in which post-Agreement Northern fiction negotiates its bitter legacies. It also examines how the activity of creating art in a time of violence brings about an anxiety regarding the artist's role, and how it calls into question the ability to re-present atrocity. The book further explores the consideration of politics and ethics in Irish drama since 1990. It talks about the swirling abundance of themes and trends in contemporary Irish fiction and autobiography. The book shows that writing in the Irish Republic and in the North has begun to accommodate an increasing diversity of voices which address themselves not only to issues preoccupying their local audiences, but also to wider geopolitical concerns.
The gothic novel in Ireland, 1760–1830 offers a compelling account of the development of gothic literature in late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century Ireland. Against traditional scholarly understandings of Irish gothic fiction as a largely late-nineteenth century development, this study recovers to view a whole body of Irish literary production too often overlooked today. Its robust examination of primary texts, the contexts in which they were produced, and the critical perspectives from which they have been analysed yields a rigorous account of the largely retrospective formal and generic classifications that have worked to eliminate eighteenth-century and Romantic-era Irish fiction from the history of gothic literature. The works assessed here powerfully demonstrate that what we now understand as typical of ‘the gothic novel’– medieval, Catholic Continental settings; supernatural figures and events; an interest in the assertion of British modernity – is not necessarily what eighteenth- and nineteenth-century readers or writers would have identified as ‘gothic’. They moreover point to the manner in which scholarly focus on the national tale and allied genres has effected an erasure of the continued production and influence of gothic literature in Romantic Ireland. Combining quantitative analysis with meticulous qualitative readings of a selection of representative texts, this book sketches a new formal, generic, and ideological map of gothic literary production in this period. As it does so, it persuasively positions Irish works and authors at the centre of a newly understood paradigm of the development of the literary gothic across Ireland, Britain, and Europe between 1760 and 1830.
Anne Enright and postnationalism in
the contemporary Irish novel
Anne Enright has been hailed as one of the most exciting contemporary Irish writers, praised for her lyrical, evocative language and her
original style. Her collection of stories, The Portable Virgin (1991), was
shortlisted for the Irish Times/Aer Lingus IrishLiterature Prize and won
the Rooney Prize in 1991, her first novel, The Wig My Father Wore
(1995), met with widespread critical acclaim and her subsequent
novels, What Are
Flying high? Culture, criticism,
theory since 1990
Lucy McDiarmid begins her review of The Cambridge History of IrishLiterature by reflecting on the upholstery of Aer Lingus seats, which
features quotations from James Connolly, Yeats, Shaw, and lines from
the sixteenth-century anonymous Gaelic lament for Kilcash. The quotations on the seats knit together the recurrent dynamics of Irish culture and society that have been interwoven since the twelfth century:
tradition and modernity, arrival
New generation Northern Irish poets (Sinéad Morrissey and Nick Laird)
Neither here nor there:
new generation Northern Irish poets
(Sinéad Morrissey and Nick Laird)1
‘Skies change, not cares for those who cross the sea’2
Confirmation that a new generation of talented poets is beginning to
re-shape the face of Irish and Northern Irishliterature can be found in
two recent anthologies: Selima Guinness’s The New Irish Poets (2004)
and John Brown’s Magnetic North: The Emerging Poets (2005).3
Amongst the defining characteristics of the new poetry, according to
would deny that it belongs to Irishliterature preeminently and essentially. The difference between contemporary Irish
and contemporary Scottish literature is that the first is central and
homogeneous, and that the second is parochial and conglomerate; and
this is because it does not possess an organ for the expression of a whole
and unambiguous nationality. Scots dialect poetry represents Scotland
in bits and patches, and in doing that it is no doubt a faithful enough
image of the present divided state of Scotland. But while we cling to it
we shall never be able to
Irish writing in very distinct parts of Europe.
As well as from Ireland, contributors have been drawn from the Czech
Republic, France, Hungary, Poland, Sweden, the UK and USA, which
in itself reflects the strong and sustained international interest in and
popularity of Irishliterature.
The period covered by the book, 1990–2007, has witnessed
significant developments within Irish culture and society, which have
shaped and transformed the writing and reading of identity, sexuality,
history and gender. In order to set this remarkable, transformational
time into some
Unearthing the truth in Patrick O’Keeffe’s The Hill Road
Vivian Valvano Lynch
order.aspx (accessed 13 December 2006).
Buried secrets abound in Irishliterature and, for that matter, Irish history. In his parleying with secret pasts, O’Keeffe is undoubtedly indebted
to Seamus Deane’s Reading in the Dark (1996; New York: Knopf, 1997),
discussed earlier in this volume by Stephen Regan. See also below, endnote 14.
Patrick O’Keeffe, The Hill Road (2005; New York: Penguin, 2006),
p. 96. Subsequent references will be cited parenthetically in the text.
Brian Friel, Dancing at Lughnasa (London
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)
Irish authors, but place and time are figured
with a new intensity and self-consciousness in recent Irish migrant or
second-generation autobiographies, which have increasingly become a
special category or sub-genre in the study of modern Irishliterature.
Fiction and autobiography
John McGahern’s starkly titled Memoir (2005) opens with a vivid
account of the lanes and fields of Co. Leitrim, where he walked as a
boy in the 1930s and 1940s, and where he returned to live in the 1970s.
Despite its poor soil, that
the later canonisation processes effected by twentieth- and twenty-first-century literary studies. From a specifically Irishliterature perspective, research by Rolf and Magda Loeber, in particular their indispensable A guide to Irish fiction (2006), has greatly expanded the limits of our literary consciousness, recovering to view a multitude of texts that now invite a re-consideration of the parameters of Irish literary production across the centuries.
Many of the lesser-known works included in these bibliographies and assessed in this book