Writing Modern Ireland

BookWriting Modern Ireland

Writing Modern Ireland

Clemson University Press: Ireland in the Arts & Humanities


June 30th, 2015

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Writing Modern Ireland examines the complex literary manifestations of Ireland and Irishness from the turn of the twentieth century to very recently. Together with examinations of the nation, the collected essays consider Irish identities that may be sexual, racial, regional, gendered, disabled and able-bodied, traumatized and in the process of healing. Identity, like literary texts, is a constant process of making and remaking, revision and publication. This collection takes up the question of what it means to write modern Ireland, evoking the many resonances that name will carry: a mythic place, a land controlled from elsewhere, a nation hoped for and achieved, a nation denied and resisted, an island divided, an idea soaked in fantasies and dreams, a homeland abandoned in searches for brighter futures, a land of opportunity, a people who are many people, and a place defined by writers who both empower and challenge it. W. B. Yeats looms large, as he does in modern Irish writing, and in commemoration of his sesquicentennial year. Building on a themed issue of The South Carolina Review, the present volume is expanded and rededicated by Catherine E. Paul (Clemson University). It features critical essays by Ronald Schuchard on Yeats, Michael Sidnell on Beckett, Liam Harte on Sebastian Barry, Jefferson Holdridge on contemporary Irish poets, and Thomas Dillon Redshaw on the revival of the Cuala Press (illustrated), together with a host of significant scholarship and criticism by 14 additional international experts from the USA, UK, Belgium, France, and (of course) Ireland.


Author Information

Catherine E. Paul is Professor Emerita of English at Clemson University.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Writing Modern Ireland7
Yeats in Extremis14
“Here, of all places”: Geographies of Sexual and Gender Identity in Keith Ridgway’s The Long Falling29
Beckett’s Discovery of Theater: Human Wishes, and the Dramaturgical Contexts of Eleutheria42
“I have met you too late”: James Joyce, W. B. Yeats and the Making of Chamber Music56
The Politics of Pity in Sebastian Barry’s A Long Long Way80
Flesh and Bones: Anne Enright’s The Gathering94
“Westward ho!”: The Only Jealousy of Emer, From Noh to Tragedy108
Enabling Emer, Disabling the Sidhe: W. B. Yeats’s The Only Jealousy of Emer117
The Use of Memory: Michael Coady’s All Souls129
“To construct something upon which to rejoice”: Seamus Heaney’s Prose Revisions141
Remains and Removals: The Cuala Press Revival, 1969–1989164
“The Old Moon-Phaser”: Yeats, Auden, and MacNeice187
A Satyric Paradise: The Form of W. B. Yeats’s “News for the Delphic Oracle"200
Abroad and at Home: The Question of the Foreigner in Kate O’Brien’s Mary Lavelle207
The Deathly Conformity of Irish Women: Novels by Mary O’Donnell and Susan Knight220
Mercury in Taurus: W. B. Yeats and Ted Hughes229
“Notes Chirruping Answer”: Language as Music in James Joyce and Virginia Woolf242
Allegories of Writing: Figurations of Narcissus and Echo in W. B. Yeats’s Work250
“Halved Globe, Slowly Turning”: Editing Irish Poetry in America267