Political failures and globalization have eroded Ireland’s sovereignty—a decline portended in Irish literature. Surveying the bleak themes in thirty works by modern writers, Declan Kiberd finds audacious experimentation that embodies the defiance and resourcefulness of Ireland’s founding spirit—and a strange kind of hope for a more open nation.
After the Digging
Alan Shapiro University of Chicago Press, 1998 Library of Congress PS3569.H338A69 1998 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
After the Digging provides an exceptional look at the early work of acclaimed poet Alan Shapiro. His first collection of poems allows readers to realize his strong sense of historical narrative and gives them reference on how to read his later poems. Inspired by his time at Stanford in the late seventies, the book is divided into two parts: the first is a sequence on the Irish Famine in the mid-nineteenth century; the second, a series on demonic possession in late seventeenth-century New England. These poems give voice to the pain and delusion of those from other periods and inevitably recall the many evils of our own century.
"Powerful. . . . That a young poet can handle this subject so well in a first book is . . . a pleasure in itself."—Robert von Hallberg, Contemporary Literature, 1981
Ascending to power after the Anglo-Irish Treaty and a violent revolution against the United Kingdom, the political party Cumann na nGaedheal governed during the first ten years of the Irish Free State (1922–32). Taking over from the fallen Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith, Cumann na nGaedheal leaders such as W. T. Cosgrave and Kevin O'Higgins won a bloody civil war, created the institutions of the new Free State, and attempted to project abroad the independence of a new Ireland.
In response to the view that Cumann na nGaedheal was actually a reactionary counterrevolutionary party, Afterimage of the Revolution contends that, in building the new Irish state, the government framed and promoted its policies in terms of ideas inherited from the revolution. In particular, Cumann na nGaedheal emphasized Irish sovereignty, the "Irishness" of the new state, and a strong sense of anticolonialism, all key components of the Sinn Féin party platform during the revolution. Jason Knirck argues that the 1920s must be understood as part of a continuing Irish revolution that led to an eventual independent republic. Drawing on state documents, newspapers, and private papers—including the recently released papers of Kevin O'Higgins—he offers a fresh view of Irish politics in the 1920s and integrates this period more closely with the Irish Revolution.
Alter-Nations: Nationalisms, Terror, and the State in Nineteenth-Century Britain and Ireland investigates how Victorian cultural production on both sides of the Irish Sea grappled with the complex relationship between British imperial nationalism and Irish anticolonial nationalism. In the process, this study reconceptualizes the history of modern nationhood in Britain and Ireland.
Taking as its archive political theory, polemical prose, novels, political cartoons, memoir, and newspaper writings, Amy E. Martin’s Alter-Nations examines the central place of Irish anticolonial nationalism in Victorian culture and provides a new genealogy of categories such as “nationalism” “terror,” and “the state.” In texts from Britain and Ireland, we can trace the emergence of new narratives of Irish immigration, racial difference, and Irish violence as central to capitalist national crisis in nineteenth-century Britain. In visual culture and newspaper writing of the 1860s, the modern idea of “terrorism” as irrational and racialized anticolonial violence first comes into being. This new ideology of terrorism finds its counterpart in Victorian theorizations of the modern hegemonic state form, which justify the state’s monopoly of violence by imagining its apparatuses as specifically anti-terrorist. At the same time, Irish Fenian writings articulate anticolonial critique that anticipates the problematics of postcolonial studies and attempts to reimagine in generative and radical ways anticolonialism’s relation to modernity and the state form. By so doing, Alter-Nations argues for the centrality of Irish studies to postcolonial and Victorian studies, and reconceptualizes the boundaries and concerns of those fields.
Scholar and statesman Conor Cruise O'Brien illuminates why peace has been so elusive in Northern Ireland. He explains the conflation of religion and nation through Irish history into our own time. Using his life as a prism through which he interprets Ireland's past and present, O'Brien identifies case after case of the lethal mixing of God with country that has spilled oceans of blood throughout this century of nationalism and that, from Bosnia to Northern Ireland, still curses the world.
"O'Brien's bravura performance [is] seductive in its intellectual sweep and literary assurance."—Toby Barnard, Times Literary Supplement
"Has the magical insistence which Conor Cruise O'Brien can produce at his best. . . . Where he looks back to his own childhood the book shines. He writes of his mother and father with effortless grace and candor, with a marvelous, elegant mix of affection and detachment."—Observer
Anomalous States is an archeology of modern Irish writing. David Lloyd commences with recent questioning of Irish identity in the wake of the northern conflict and returns to the complex terrain of nineteenth-century culture in which those questions of identity were first formed. In five linked essays, he explores modern Irish literature and its political contexts through the work of four Irish writers—Heaney, Beckett, Yeats, and Joyce. Beginning with Heaney and Beckett, Lloyd shows how in these authors the question of identity connects with the dominance of conservative cultural nationalism and argues for the need to understand Irish culture in relation to the wider experience of colonized societies. A central essay reads Yeats's later works as a profound questioning of the founding of the state. Final essays examine the gradual formation of the state and nation as one element in a cultural process that involves conflict between popular cultural forms and emerging political economies of nationalism and the colonial state. Modern Ireland is thus seen as the product of a continuing process in which, Lloyd argues, the passage to national independence that defines Ireland's post-colonial status is no more than a moment in its continuing history. Anomalous States makes an important contribution to the growing body of work that connects cultural theory with post-colonial historiography, literary analysis, and issues in contemporary politics. It will interest a wide readership in literary studies, cultural studies, anthropology, and history.
Arab Americans in Michigan
Rosina J. Hassoun Michigan State University Press, 2003 Library of Congress F575.A65H37 2005 | Dewey Decimal 977.4004927
The state of Michigan hosts one of the largest and most diverse Arab American populations in the United States. As the third largest ethnic population in the state, Arab Americans are an economically important and politically influential group. It also reflects the diversity of national origins, religions, education levels, socioeconomic levels, and degrees of acculturation. Despite their considerable presence, Arab Americans have always been a misunderstood ethnic population in Michigan, even before September 11, 2001 imposed a cloud of suspicion, fear, and uncertainty over their ethnic enclaves and the larger community. In Arab Americans in Michigan Rosina J. Hassoun outlines the origins, culture, religions, and values of a people whose influence has often exceeded their visibility in the state.
The Aran Islands
John M. Synge Northwestern University Press, 1999 Library of Congress PR5533.A417 1999 | Dewey Decimal 828.91203
In the late 1890s, John Synge, in his middle twenties and unsure of his vocation, made his way to Paris to study French literature and become a literary critic. There he met William Butler Yeats. The eminent poet advised Synge to drop his involvement with fin de siècle French authors, return to Ireland, and describe a society with which he had a natural connection.
Synge first traveled to the primitive, little-known Aran Islands in 1898. His trip proved to be a wonderfully fruitful and decisive experience. He then went back for part of each summer until 1902. The Aran Islands, his memoir of those experiences, was published in 1907, and the future playwright called it his "first serious piece of work."
Antonin Artaud’s journey to Ireland in 1937 marked an extraordinary—and apocalyptic—turning point in his life and career. After publishing the manifesto The New Revelations of Being about the “catastrophic immediate-future,” Artaud abruptly left Paris for Ireland, remaining there for six weeks without money. Traveling first to the isolated island of Inishmore off Ireland’s western coast, then to Galway, and finally to Dublin, Artaud was eventually arrested as an undesirable alien, beaten by the police, and summarily deported back to France. On his return, he spent nine years in asylums, remaining there through the entire span of World War II.
During his fateful journey, Artaud wrote letters to friends in Paris which included several “magic spells,” intended to curse his enemies and protect his friends from the city’s forthcoming incineration and the Antichrist’s appearance. (To André Breton, he wrote: “It’s the Unbelievable—yes, the Unbelievable—it’s the Unbelievable which is the truth.”) This book collects all of Artaud’s surviving correspondence from his time in Ireland, as well as photographs of the locations he traveled through. Featuring an afterword and notes by the book’s translator, Stephen Barber, this edition marks the seventieth anniversary of Artaud’s death.
Ireland has been marketed as the poster boy of EU austerity. EU elites and neoliberal commentators claim that the country’s ability to suffer economic pain will attract investors and generate a recovery.
In Austerity Ireland, Kieran Allen challenges this official image and argues that the Irish state's response to the crash has primarily been designed to protect economic privilege. The resulting austerity has been a failure and is likely to produce a decade of hardship.
The book offers a deeply informed and penetrating diagnosis of Ireland's current socio-economic and political malaise, suggesting that a political earthquake is underway which may benefit the left. Austerity Ireland is essential reading for all students of Irish politics and economics, as well as those interested in the politics of austerity and the eurozone crisis.
Maud Gonne is part of Irish history: her founding of the Daughters of Ireland, in 1900, was the key that effectively opened the door of twentieth-century politics to Irish women. Still remembered in Ireland for the inspiring public speeches she made on behalf of the suffering—those evicted from their homes in western Ireland, the Treason-Felony prisoners on the Isle of Wright, indeed all those whom she saw as victims of imperialism—she is known, too, within and outside Ireland as the woman W. B. Yeats loved and celebrated in his poems.