Forging in the Smithy: National Identity and Representation in Anglo-Irish Literary History

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The interest of Anglo-Irish literature is not only that its canon includes a high proportion of literary giants - Yeats, Joyce, Beckett - but also that it exemplifies the problematics of literature in a context of social and cultural tension. Irish literary history has often been studied under precisely that aspect: as the literature of a country in a marginal, colonial yet intra-European position; a country where a variety of cultural traditions (Gaelic, Anglo-Irish, Ulster Presbyterian) have coexisted in an uneasy relationship; a country with intense social and economic divisions. These infrastructural tensions are not mere background or part of the context, but have been explicitly thematized in a substantial part of Ireland's literary output, so that an Irish author who does not address the matter of Ireland stands out as an anomaly, an exception to the general patterns. Therefore, the historical context of much Anglo-Irish scholarship is hardly surprising. Forging the Smithy: National Identity and Representation in Anglo-Irish Literary Historyaddresses three interrelated areas of interest: language, territory and politics; the role of historical consciousness in Irish authors and in their dissemination; and the representation of Irish affairs asa it gives rise to specific literary strategies.
 

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Contents

Forging in the Smithy
1
Clare OHalloran
4
Ciaran Murray
23
Susan Fisher Miller
33
Robert Mahony
43
Wim Tigges
59
Peter Davidson
103
Richard Wall
120
Joep Leerssen
133
Arthur Green
145
Charles Vallancey 17261812
161
The Case of New Grange
175
Jane Stevenson
195
James H Murphy
219
Notes on Contributors
247
Copyright

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Page 12 - ... after, insomuch as the very carcasses they spared not to scrape out of their graves ; and, if they found a plot of water-cresses or shamrocks, there they flocked as to a feast for the time, yet not able long to continue therewithal ; that in short space there were none almost left, and a most populous and plentiful country suddenly left void of man and beast...
Page 12 - ... ere one year and a half they were brought to such wretchedness, as that any stony heart would have rued the same. Out of every corner of the woods and glens they came creeping forth upon their hands, for their legs could not bear them ; they looked like anatomies of death, they spake like ghosts crying out of their graves...
Page 12 - ... anatomies of death ; they spake like ghosts crying out of their graves; they did eat the dead carrions, happy where they could find them; yea, and one another soon after, insomuch as the very carcasses they spared not to scrape out of their graves ; and if they found a plot of watercresses or shamrocks, there they flocked as to a feast...
Page 19 - And sure it is yet a most beautiful and sweet country as any is under heaven, being stored throughout with many goodly rivers, replenished with all sorts of fish most abundantly, sprinkled with many very...
Page 15 - ... it is her cloak and safeguard, and also a coverlet for her lewd exercise, and when she hath filled her vessel, under it she can hide both her burden and her blame...
Page 18 - And joy likewise this solemne day to see ? They saw it all, and present were in place ; Though I them all according their degree Cannot recount, nor tell their hidden race, Nor read the salvage cuntreis thorough which they pace.