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IASIL 2006 - "Those images that yet/ Fresh images beget" (W.B. Yeats 'Byzantium') University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Thursday 20 July to Sunday 23 July 2006

Below is a list of speakers whose papers have been accepted for IASIL 2006. If you are NOT listed here, and think you should be, please send an email to as soon as possible. Similarly, if your listing contains errors, please email us as soon as possible.

The appearance of a person's name in the list below does not guarantee that that person will attend IASIL 2006. This list is subject to revision. All speakers must register for IASIL 2006. All speakers must be members of IASIL.

Provisional List of Speakers, Updated Tuesday, 27 June, 2006

Fionna Barber “Farset, Gomorrah and Kilburn: Reading Diasporic Queer Identities and Irish painting in 1950s London”
Beatriz Bastos “Re-presenting the Irish Dramatic Tradition: Two Plays by Vincent Woods”
Jennifer Beckett “‘Whose accent is that anyway?’”
Prof James Cahalan “Women's Intertextualities versus Men's Anxieties of Influence in Somerville and Ross, Samuel Beckett, and Flann O'Brien.”
Prof Brian Cliff “Anne Enright and Emma Donoghue: The Desire to Belong in Contemporary Irish Fiction”
Dr Mairead Conneely “‘Failte Abhaile Synge: The Homecoming of Synge and his Plays to Inis Meain: Sept. 2005.”
Prof Joan Dean “George Fitzmaurice’s Artist Obsessives”
Dr Dawn Duncan “Across the Ages and Into the West: The White Horse Myth Still Travels”
Tony Earls “Echoes of The Colleen Bawn”
Dr Danine Farquharson “My Two Dads: Roddy Doyle Under the Influence of Joyce and O’Casey”
A/Prof Anna Fattori “‘A genuinely funny German farce’ turns into a very Irish play, The Broken Jug (1994): John Banville’s adaptation of Heinrich von Kleist’s Der zerbrochene Krug (1807)”
Prof Peter Harris “From Stage to Page: Images of Ireland in the Reflections of the London Theatre Critics”
Dr Rui Homem “The Sinuous and the Straight: Diction and Gaze in Ciaran Carson’s Ekphrastic Writing”
Dr Anthony Hughes “"Who does he think he is?": An intertextual reading of Roy Keane's biography'“
Nigel Hunter “‘The wind blows hard from our past’: Anxiety and Influence in Berryman’s Irish Dream Songs”
Prof C.L. Innes “Ned Kelly in Dialogue with Irish Literature and Culture”
Prof Noriko Ito “An intertextual reading of Brian Moore”
Dr Anne Jamison “The ‘accident of being a writer’: locating the archival/authorial subject in Kate O’Brien’s unpublished life-writing”
Prof Daniel Jernigan “Flann O’Brien’s Faustian Accomplishments, From Faustus Kelly to The Third Policeman”
Dr Conor Johnston “Revisiting the Western Australian Poems of John Boyle O’Reilly”
Dr Wei H. Kao “Voices from the Irish margin: Sean O’Casey’s The Shadow of a Gunman and Christine Reid’s Joyriders”
Dr Rhona Kenneally “Spatial Reproductions of The Quiet Man: The Quiet Man Museum in Mayo, Ireland, as an interactive enactment of text and film”
Prof Michael Kenneally “Images that Memory Begets: Home and Away in Frances Stewart’s Our Forest Home”
Prof Rina Kikuchi “A Reality Distinct from the Actual: An Alternative World in the Poetry of Walter de la Mare and Matthew Sweeney”
Prof Jose Lanters “Intertextuality in Eilis Ni Dhuibhne’s Summer Pudding”
Jared Lesser “‘If the man in the moon was a jew, jew, jew’: Unearthing anti/Jewish iconology in Ulysses”
Dr Patrick Lonergan “‘Monologue in 1990s Irish Theatre: Intention, Intertextuality, Internationalization”
Dr Irene Lucchitti “Iceland Fishermen and the Islands of Ireland”
Dr Patricia Lynch “The ancient world in an Irish bog: intertextuality and Hiberno-English in Irish versions of the classics”
Prof Vivian Lynch “‘Crimson the face of shame’: Marina Carr’s Ariel reconstitutes Greek Tragedy”
Prof Michael Lynch “‘Worthy of the New Ireland’: Reading Joyce’s Dubliners in the light of changing critical perceptions”
Dr Edward Marx “Yone Noguchi in Yeats’s Japan”
Prof Ken’ichi Matsumura “The Severing Seas: The Structure of Sailing from Bran to Yeats”
Caitlin McGuinness “Absence on display: David Park’s Swallowing the Sun”
Dr Stephen McLaren “A Portrait of young Joyce: the endless knot and the Mangan imagination”
Dr John Menaghan “The Female James Joyce? James Joyce, Maeve Brennan and the Begetting of Fictional Dublin”
Prof Frank Molloy “The Anxiety of History: Sebastian Barry’s A Long Long Way”
Dr Karen Moloney “Homage to Dionysus: Heaney’s Sweeney, Orpheus, and Wilmington Giant”
Prof Maureen Murphy “The Land War in Irish Literature”
Prof Neil Murphy “John Banville’s Intratextual Fantasies”
Prof Ciaran Murray “The Abominable Lamp-post: Yeats and Morris”
Dr Clíona Ní Ríordáin “Intertextuality and the Ethics of Translation”
Jerry Nolan “The Irishry in Tom Moore’s Lalla Rookh”
Dr Cliona O Gallchoir “Fact, Fiction and Intertextuality in Joseph O’Connor’s The Star of the Sea”
Prof Kevin O’Connor “‘You could not have a green rose’: Joyce’s and Deane’s rewriting of Yeats’s Irish symbol”
Prof Laura O’Connor “From Douglas Hyde to Mike Mignola: the improbable resurfacings of Teig O'Kane's corpse”
Dr Pamela O’Neill “Lost Infants in the Irish Psyche”
Prof Britta Olinder “The Literary tradition in John Hewitt’s Poetry”
Prof Coilin Parsons “Word Maps: J.M. Synge’s prose writings and the Ordnance Survey “
Dr Gary Pearce “The Irish Modernist Structure of Feeling”
Dr Mark Phelan “Temenos, Trauma, Topography and Photography: Remembering “The
• Disappeared”“
Dr Emilie Pine “Street fighting, ceremonial hats and the Spanish Civil War: Brian Friel and Arnold Wesker”
Yulia Pushkarevskaya ““Intertextual Consciousness in Jennifer Johnston: 'All those people whose words fill my head’”“
Prof Shaun Richards “‘“God, wouldn’t they hop!”: Synge and the “Savage God”’”
Dr Julie-Ann Robson “Poetry and propaganda: Oscar Wilde’s post-trial writings”
Prof Marthine Satris “The Boland Effect: Writing After Outside History”
Dr Stephanie Schwerter “Word city vs. real city: Belfast between reality and fiction”
Dr Dominique Seve “Lord Dunsany: The Ghosts of the Past”
Dr Masaya Shimokusu “Dublin Bohemia”
Giovanna Tallone “Dark Spaces. ‘Emma Brown’ by Clare Boylan and/or Charlotte Bronte”
Christopher Thomson “‘Father, the gate is open’: intertextuality and the drama of masculinity in John Banville’s fiction”
Prof Naoko Toraiwa “Marvell or Eliot: Hyperbole needed: Influence of Metaphysical Poets in Medbh McGuckian’s Captain Lavender”
Prof Patricia Trainor de la Cruz ““‘Norn Iron’ and Seamus Heaney”“
Prof Andries Wessels “Conceptual intertextuality: Marlene van Niekerk’s Agaat as an Afrikaans Big House novel”
Prof Linda Wong “‘Tracing the Textual Web’ of Oscar Wilde in a Chinese Context”
Joakim Wrethed “The Tissue, Flesh and Blood of the Intertext in John Banville’s The Book of Evidence”


Farset, Gomorrah and Kilburn: Reading Diasporic Queer Identities and Irish Painting in 1950s London

Between January 1977 and June 1978, Gerard Keenan published a serial novel Farset and Gomorrah in the journal The Honest Ulsterman under the pseudonym Jude the Obscure. An important character in this is the homosexual painter Francie Gent, originally from Dublin but subsequently living in London. Gent is based on the Belfast-born painter Gerard Dillon, who settled in London in 1945, remaining there until 1968, when he returned to Ireland. Dillon was the key figure in a group of mostly male expatriate Northern artists in London during the 1950s, including also Dan O’Neill, George Campbell, James MacIntyre and Noreen Rice, although his work was more successfully shown in Dublin at the time.

Using Keenan’s account as a starting point, this paper examines the textual construction of the Irish artist in terms of both queer and diasporic identities. In an attempt to produce a more nuanced reading, however, I also consider other critical accounts of Dillon’s practice, such as exhibition reviews and James White’s monograph on the artist. These textual accounts are also, crucially, shaped and determined by responses to Dillon’s paintings.

“Discussion of Self–Contained Flat” (1955), a significant work by the artist painted while living in the basement of his sister’s house in Kilburn, will be central to my reading of Gerard Dillon as both queer and diasporic subject.


Fionna Barber
Senior Lecturer in History of Art
School of Art and Design History
Manchester Metropolitan University
Manchester, UK

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Re-presenting the Irish Dramatic Tradition: Two Plays by Vincent Woods.

Among the many features critics struggle to identify in Irish contemporary theatre is the rewriting of tradition—Greek, European or Irish. Vincent Woods is one of the prominent names in the diverse gallery of dramatists somehow working within this sphere. His successful and intriguing 1992 play, At The Black Pig’s Dyke, reveals a study of political divisions in the border territory, in a non-linear plot, rich in advances and retreats, anchored in folkloric Mummers Play—perhaps the most significant aspect of his text.

Woods draws his inspiration from a tradition almost abandoned and forgotten by the predominant trends in the history of Irish theatre. In his most recent play, however, first performed in 2005, A Cry from Heaven, he rescues again the sources which guided much of the work of the Revival playwrights, such as Yeats and Synge, to rewrite his own poetic version of the Deirdre myth.

The aim of this paper is to analyse in what ways both plays relate to the different traditions they spring from and what significance they acquire in contemporary Ireland—from the 1990s to the twenty-first century. 

Professor Beatriz Kopschitz X. Bastos
Universidade de São Paulo

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Whose accent is that anyway?

Cultural production is necessarily intertextual in nature. If art imitates life, as the Greek aestheticians believed, then our everyday interactions whether social, political or personal, are the underpinning of all that is presented back to us as art. So, how do we consider this in light of a more globally aware and mobile population with access to a myriad of cultures and their texts? For the most part when one considers intertextuality in the light of a nation’s “cultural capital”, as Pierre Bourdieu termed it, the assumption is that the exchanges happen within a specified national consciousness. In a globalised society, or indeed within a nation-state as diasporic in nature as Ireland, it is now necessary to consider intertextuality as a border-crossing exchange. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the realms of mass-media; cultural products which are by their very nature more “transferable” than more traditional art-forms.

This paper will look at issues of cross-cultural intertextualities and the implications this has not only on the reading of “Irish” cinema but also on the ways that filmmakers choose to portray their subjects to the wider audience. What are the markers that are used to denote ‘Irish’ and what can they tell us about the way in which Irish culture is positioned in the outside world? Whose accents are telling us what stories, and why? 

Jennifer Beckett, University of Sydney,New South Wales, AUSTRALIA

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Positive Influences and the Anxiety of Influence in Comic Irish Fiction:  Somerville and Ross, and Flann O’Brien versus Beckett

This presentation will build, most recently, on my Irish chapter for Comedy: A Geographic and Historic Guide (ed. Maurice Charney, Praeger, 2005), and my article “Mercier’s Irish Comic Tradition as a Touchstone for Irish Studies” in the “Backward Glance” set of essays on Mercier that I compiled for the New Hibernia Review (Winter 2004), where I concluded: ‘Our habit is to move from literary, “primary” sources to critical, “secondary” sources, but The Irish Comic Tradition is a critical book that marked not only the scholarly, but also the creative Irish writing that came after it. It is thus a “secondary” book that became primary’ (145). I have focused on influences in Irish fiction throughout my career in my five Irish books from 1983 to 1999, especially The Irish Novel: A Critical History.

In this paper I will focus on two chief case studies—the first from the nineteenth (spilling into the early twentieth) century, and the second from the twentieth century: Somerville and Ross as influenced by Maria Edgeworth, at the same time that they anxiously steered away from Yeats’s literary revival; and the responses to James Joyce by Flann O’Brien and Samuel Beckett. In the first instance, the cousins Somerville and Ross—in their hilarious “Irish R.M.” stories, beginning in 1898—emulated the author of the tremendously influential Castle Rackrent. Edgeworth once wrote to Somerville and Ross's great-grandmother, Mrs. Bushe, in 1832, ‘It is good to laugh as long as we can … and whenever we can.’ Somerville and Ross refused to write for the Abbey or to join the literary revival, even though “Ross” (Violet Martin) was visited by her cousin Lady Gregory, who asked her to contribute a play to the Abbey. In this part of my presentation, I will draw not only on my own previous work on Somerville and Ross, but also on Gifford Lewis’s definitive new biography of Somerville. O’Brien and Beckett also offer a wonderful case study of the anxiety of influence. O’Brien started out writing like Joyce, but then felt too “scooped” by Joyce and went on to write anti-Joycean works. Whereas At Swim-Two-Birds, published in the same year (1939) as Finnegans Wake, was a wonderfully phantasmagoric, Joycean novel, O’Brien later exacted revenge on Joyce for painting him into a literary corner by inserting him in The Dalkey Archive (1964) as a character who denied authorship of Ulysses and the Wake and was instead writing pamphlets for the Catholic Truth Society. O’Brien’s later novels were not as good as his early novels; he could not escape Joyce’s large shadow. David Powell has detailed O’Brien’s love-hate attitudes to Joyce as reflected in his “Myles na Gopaleen” articles for the Irish Times. Beckett also began by writing like Joyce, even authoring an early essay in appreciation of Finnegans Wake ten years before that novel was published in its entire, final form. But then he overcame and transcended Joyce’s influence by successfully developing in exactly the opposite direction of Joyce: instead of writing more and more complex works, Beckett shifted to French and wrote increasingly stripped-down, bare, and shorter and shorter works in a voice as original and great as Joyce’s, but very different and entirely his own

Professor James M. Cahalan
Professor of English
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

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Anne Enright and Emma Donoghue: The Desire to Belong in Contemporary Irish Fiction 

This paper argues that Irish Studies lacks an effective framework for discussing the island's contemporary culture. In particular, the nation's centrality overshadows diverse ways of belonging, insisting on certain identities and excluding others. By showing how much the nation cannot encompass, however, contemporary Irish literature questions the nation's status as the field's defining rhetorical element.

To support this claim, I examine fiction by Anne Enright and Emma Donoghue, both of whom narrate alternative communities in ways that insistently stretch beyond the nation's constraints. Donoghue's fairy tale cycle, Kissing the Witch (1997), for example, navigates belonging through female characters who lose their relationships to their communities, and who find revised communities in love with each other. These communities reflect the book's overlapping narratives, which link one protagonist to the next. Each character's exclusion thus initiates a new community of the excluded, a community built on difference.

As this paper concludes, such plural visions of the desire to belong echo across contemporary Irish literature but are overlooked by a critical vocabulary centered on the nation. Tracing these echoes will renew critical thinking about Irish culture, for they expand this vocabulary by addressing increasingly difficult contemporary questions about belonging and being together.

Professor Brian Cliff
Department of English
Montclair State University

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Fáilte Abhaile Synge: The Homecoming of Synge and His Plays to Inis Meáin, Sept. 2005

This paper will concentrate on the critical reception of the six plays of John Millington Synge in Inis Meáin (Aran Island) in September 2005. It will evaluate the diverse responses given to the productions firstly by islanders, and secondly by visitors.

It will also look at the “homecoming” aspect of the production, and the interconnectedness of place (the island) and memory. Synge is regarded as having belonged more to Inis Meáin than anywhere else. Did he achieve this insider/native status through his artistic appreciation of the island captured in his plays, or, through his personal understanding of how the island and her people worked?

This paper will look at the triumphant return of Inis Meáin’s most famous son, while also examining how the traditional and the modern elements of the various productions helped to illuminate the lasting quality of Synge’s work and that of his beloved Inis Meáin. 

Dr Mairéad Conneely, Department of Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Limerick


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George Fitzmaurice’s Artist Obsessives 

In 1914 Maunsel published Five Plays by George Fitzmaurice, a volume that included three plays that focus on the artist-obsessive: The Pie-Dish, The Magic Glasses, and The Dandy Dolls. Fitzmaurice’s artists respond to seminal Abbey plays, especially Yeats’s The King’s Threshold and Synge’s works, that examined the privileges, place, and responsibilities of the Irish artist. Fitzmaurice’s artist-obsessives physically remain in the familiar peasant cottage, but they inhabit a detached, perhaps psychotic, realm. While Yeats’s Seanchan was not fully of this world, Fitzmaurice’s Kerry madmen even more tenuously linked to reality. Seen in this context, Fitzmaurice’s artists pose a deeply subversive alternative to Yeats’s court poet or Synge’s storytellers.

Like Seumas O’Kelly, Padraic Colum, and Rutherford Mayne, Fitzmaurice challenged the prevailing (or Abbey) conception and portrait of the artist. The consequences were disastrous to Fitzmaurice’s career as a playwright. At the time of the publication of Five Plays the Abbey had already staged brief runs of The Pie-Dish and The Magic Glasses as well as the popular and more realistic The Country Dressmaker, but it would be decades before The Dandy Dolls was seen Dublin.

Professor Joan FitzPatrick Dean, Department of English, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Missouri, USA

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Across the Ages and Into the West: The White Horse Myth Still Travels

Dating as far back as the engraving on Salisbury Plains and the myth of Oisín and Niamh, the white horse has maintained a central position of importance among Irish images passed down in the arts. Significantly, the horse is and always must be white, a colour connected with both the feminine and other-worldliness.

Using a socio-psychological approach to reading this image across time and art, I explore the adaptation of the white horse myth to the cultural needs and hopes of the Irish in different generations. After tracing the appearance of the horse in the myth, and its adaptation in WB Yeats’ Wanderings of Oisin and Jack B. Yeats’ painting “There is no night,” primary attention will focus on the more recent appropriation of the image for the film Into the West and the way in which that image becomes both ‘self-affrighting’ and ‘self-delighting’.

Close analysis of the links between the original Oisín/Niamh myth, the Yeats’ adaptations, and the contemporary film illuminates the way in which this image particularly speaks to cultures in conflict and transition, to dealing with fear and claiming hope.

Dr. Dawn Duncan, Department of English, Concordia College, USA

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Echoes of the Colleen Bawn

The murder of Ellen Hanley in the Summer of 1819 had all of the ingredients of a crime to catch the public imagination: a beautiful young peasant girl, a rakish cad with a faithful side-kick, class differences, an elopement, a brutal killing and Ireland's most famous advocate, Daniel O'Connell, for the defence. A young court reporter, Gerald Griffin used the details of the case as the basis for his most famous novel, The Collegians.

Forty years later the story continued to capture the imagination with the production of Dion Boucicault's The Colleen Bawn, a play so successful that it begot a further incarnation, Julius Benedict's opera, The Lily of Killarney. The inevitable movie had to wait until 1911 (with another in 1934).

This paper will attempt some observations on this distinctively Irish morality tale, and consider the implications of its differing versions. It will also explore the extent to which aspects of the story, which had international success in mediums where rural Ireland was rarely represented, have found form in other works and icons such as Myles na gCopaleen and Ulysses.

Tony Earls, Macquarie University, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA

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My Two Dads: Roddy Doyle Under the Influence of Joyce and O’Casey

Roddy Doyle acknowledges many influences at play in his fictional writing: African-American blues and jazz obviously inform both The Commitments and Oh, Play That Thing.

In the back pages of A Star Called Henry, Doyle lists a number of texts and authors to whom he turned while writing. Clearly Doyle does not hesitate to grant status to textual forebears. What is far more interesting than the influences he does mention are the ones left out and the ones he resists; namely, James Joyce and Sean O’Casey. In the case of Joyce, Doyle lists Dubliners and Ulysses as contributing to A Star Called Henry, but then rails against both the author and the industry surrounding him, particularly with regards to last summer’s Bloomsday extravaganza. 

In the case of O’Casey, Doyle does not mention his Dublin plays in his acknowledgements and yet Doyle has done work on O’Casey and he mentions O’Casey constantly at readings and in interviews. As Jimmy Rabbitte is aware, asking someone ‘who’re your influences?’ (The Commitments, 21) is a tricky political and cultural game of acceptance and acknowledgement that involves author, text and reader.

In this paper, I propose to look at the intertextual tensions at work in A Star Called Henry and how Doyle responds to and works with questions of influence both literally and satirically.

Dr. Danine Farquharson, Assistant Professor of Irish Literature, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Newfoundland, CANADA

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‘A genuinely funny German farce’ turns into a very Irish play: The Broken Jug (1994), John Banville’s adaptation of Heinrich von Kleist’s Der zerbrochene Krug (1807)

Although John Banville’s concern with German speaking literature has been analysed in a variety of contributions, his play The Broken Jug, an adaptation of Heinrich von Kleist’s Lustspiel Der zerbrochene Krug, has rarely received critical attention. This may be due to the fact that Banville is mainly the author of novels so his dramatic pieces are supposed to be minor works. The Broken Jug deserves special attention for its specifically Irish themes, and for its peculiar changes in setting and psychological characterisation of the figures of the pre-text. Whereas in Kleist’s Lustspiel the facts take place in Holland, Banville shifts the setting to the West of Ireland, namely to the village of Ballybog (which recalls Brian Friel’s Ballybeg), and he chooses a tragic moment in Irish history—August 1846—the time of the Great Famine. Furthermore, he introduces a new and interesting character, Mr Ball, the servant of the visiting inspector, and he turns Kleist’s 12 scenes comedy into a two-act play. The paper will explore intertextual elements in Banville’s The Broken Jug drawing special attention to the resulting “Irishness” of the play.

Professor Anna Fattori, University of Rome, ITALY

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From Stage to Page: Images of Ireland in the Reflections of the London Theatre Critics

This paper will be divided into two parts. In the first a brief synthesis will be presented of a detailed survey of the presence of the Irish play on the London stage in the period from Independence in 1922 to the end of the 1990s. The aim of this survey was to register every play of Irish authorship staged in London in the period, totalling almost 1500 productions. Upon completion of the survey a representative play was selected for each of the eight decades involved and the criticism published in the London press following the first night of each of those productions was collected and analysed. The second part of the paper will attempt to chart the evolution of the critical perception of theatrical images of Ireland, from O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock, first seen in London in November 1925, to Marina Carr’s Portia Coughlan, staged at the Royal Court in May 1996. The findings presented in this paper are based on post-doctoral research carried out at Royal Holloway University of London funded by FAPESP, São Paulo, Brazil.

Prof. Dr. Peter James Harris, Universidade de São Paulo, BRAZIL

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The Sinuous and the Straight: Diction and Gaze in Ciaran Carson's Ekphrastic Writing

Northern Irish writer Ciaran Carson has long been noted for the extent to which his texts, both in poetry and in prose, challenge traditional genre distinctions and refashion conventional form. This practice is also matched by his representational preferences, which rather often privilege halfway or indefinite conformations.

 This paper focuses on the intermedial dimension of this poetics of transit. Carson’s 2001 narrative Shamrock Tea revolves around one of the best-known paintings in the history of western art, combining elements from a variety of discourses at the crossroads between free association, hallucination and serendipity. This in fact offers a prose parallel to the altered perceptions, with a strong visual emphasis, that characterise Carson’s verse collection The Twelfth of Never (1998).

 On the contrary, his collection Breaking News (2003) includes several ‘conventional’ ekphrastic poems unified by the book’s overriding concern with war, memory and memorialisation. In stark contrast to the ludic, intoxicated and rather garrulous emphasis of The Twelfth of Never and Shamrock Tea, suggestive of a suspension of linear time and space, the dialogue between verbal and visual in Breaking News is as definite in its temporal and spatial referents as it is brooding, clear-eyed and tight-lipped. 

This contrast largely informs the interrogation of Carson’s recent poetics of ekphrasis in the present paper, led by the aim of clarifying the importance of the verbal / visual nexus for his continued relationship to a reality marked by a sharp (and pained) awareness of history. 

Dr Rui Carvalho Homem, Faculdade de Letras, Universidade do Porto, PORTUGAL

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‘Who does he think he is?’: An intertextual reading of Roy Keane's biography

A controversial figure, Roy Keane, the Manchester United footballer and former captain of Ireland, recently published his autobiography. The book was written in conjunction with a professional writer. Though the language is riddled with ‘football-speak’ and swearing, Keane is self-revealing and brutally honest. He has an interesting story to tell about his family, his friends and acquaintances, modern Ireland, the Irish media, professional football, and celebrity—as both a hero and a post-hero. The language and its tempo reveal a lot about the ways Keane sees himself, how he thinks others see him, and his expectations of those who will read his book. In addition to his self-analysis there is some honest commentary on and analysis of 'globalised' Ireland.

Dr Anthony Hughes, History Department / Irish Studies, University of New South Wales, AUSTRALIA

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‘The wind blows hard from our past’: Anxiety and Influence in Berryman’s Irish Dream Songs

Between September 1966 and June 1967 the American poet John Berryman (1914-72) was living in Ireland. It was a highly productive period, resulting in many of the lyrics that comprise the final book of his major work, The Dream Songs. Throughout these poems, Berryman is engaging with figures from the Irish canon—primarily Yeats and Hopkins, but also with Swift, Joyce, Synge and others. The influence of the first two on Berryman’s work is widely acknowledged; he himself affirmed his debt to Yeats for the characteristic form of the individual Dream Songs. But what is particularly interesting is the way in which Berryman’s agon with his literary forebears relates to the never-resolved trauma (depicted with graphic ferocity in the work’s penultimate poem) resulting from his father’s suicide, when the poet was a boy. 

If every strong writer is involved in a struggle with some literary ‘father’, as Harold Bloom famously argued—what complexities emerge when themes of writing, love and fame combine with intimations of madness, suicide and annihilation; when one is haunted equally by the ‘majestic Shade’ of Yeats, and the impulse to ‘spit upon this dreadful banker’s grave / who shot his heart out in a Florida dawn’?

Nigel Hunter, Departamento de Letras e Artes, Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana, Bahia, BRASIL

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Ned Kelly in Dialogue with Irish Literature and Culture

The Kelly gang created their own songs and ballads celebrating their deeds and modelled on Irish songs, using Irish tunes such as 'The Wearing of the Green.' I believe it can be argued that Ned Kelly himself was influenced by Robert Emmet both in his strategy for the Glenrowan siege and his courtroom demeanour and speeches. The Jerilderie Letter makes frequent reference to Irish culture, and early Irish-Australian ballads.

My paper would discuss these allusions and references, and then go on to discuss the 'Irish' take on Kelly by Douglas Stewart (influenced by Yeats), Sidney Nolan, A. Bertram Chandler, Bernardette Devlin, James Galway, John Molony, and Peter Carey, among others. 

Emeritus Professor C.L. Innes, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK

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An intertextual reading of Brian Moore

Criticism of Brian Moore sometimes brings up connections with Joyce. He admitted to his having been influenced by Joyce and there are obvious similarities between them: the emphasis on the ordinary, the setting of cityscape, and Catholicism and faith. They both lived under colonialism and a strict Catholic system. Both eventually became estranged from their families for whom Catholicism was something absolute. Disbelief and the sense of guilt would stay with them throughout their lives. 

However, despite these similarities, there are many differences too, which critical writing has usually overlooked, especially with regard to religion. To understand the differences, among other things, the thirty-nine year gap between them should be taken into consideration. 

Another point is that Joyce's protagonists naturally accepted formalized Catholicism and do not make a point at issue of it, while faith is something to be seriously grappled with by the protagonists in Moore's stories. The loss of faith is one of the main themes Moore pursued all through his writing career. The emotional effusion with which Moore portrays his protagonists is also in sharp contrast to the restraint with which Joyce wrote Dubliners. 

I will try to clarify the connections between the two writers. 

Professor Noriko Ito, Tezukayama University, JAPAN

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The ‘accident of being a writer’: locating the archival/authorial subject in Kate O’Brien’s unpublished life-writing.

Making use of the recently acquired Kate O’Brien papers at the University of Limerick, Ireland, this paper will interrogate the concept of the archive as a site of complex influences and representations which disrupt our understanding of the archive as a supposedly neutral site of memory-making and primary research material. In so doing, the paper will argue that the O’Brien archive exists as material fact—a physical and textual collection of personal papers—as well as an active site of argument and debate with the self, the multiple ‘I’ that represents O’Brien within the archive, over the act and process of memory-making, autobiography, and authorship.

Within the archive, O’Brien expresses a hitherto contained self-reflexivity on the dynamic intertextual processes that catalyzed her ‘accident’ into authorship. O’Brien’s identity as author is here represented in a state of constant flux, a fragmentation of other authorial identities which are only bound together by whatever narratives we, as her readers, have internalized previous to entering the archive. The paper will conclude that such archives have the ability to comment upon in unique ways multiple levels of intertextual collaboration, between critic and archive, and between author and influence.

Dr. Anne Jamison, School of Languages and Literature, University of Ulster, NORTHERN IRELAND

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Flann O’Brien’s Faustian Accomplishments, From Faustus Kelly to The Third Policeman

 Flann O’Brien’s little known play, Faustus Kelly (1943), concerns a character who sells his soul for political gain. However, in this version of the Faust myth, Mephistopheles is left so abused by and bewildered with the political environment of Ireland in the 1940s that he proclaims, ‘Not for any favour ... in heaven or earth or hell … would I take that Kelly and the others with me to where I live.’ The implication is clear. The political arena of 1940s Ireland is worse even than hell.

This paper will examine O’Brien’s use of the Faust myth to explicate the political environment of 1940s Ireland. The central question of this paper, however, concerns why it is that the much more intertextually-self-conscious characters of At Swim Two-Birds (1939) and The Third Policeman (1940)—especially given the latter’s similar focus on Faustian Noman character—lead to the much more traditionally referential temperament of the characters in Faustus Kelly. This paper argues that this is partly a consequence of O’Brien wearing several distinct literary hats at the same time; indeed, Faustus Kelly was actually written and produced under O’Brien’s journalistic pseudonym, Myles na Gopaleen. My argument is that as a journalist, O’Brien was much more engaged with political issues than aesthetic ones, and that Faustus Kelly is more a product of the former than the latter. 

Assistant Professor Daniel Jernigan, Department of English, Nanyang Technological University, SINGAPORE 

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Revisiting the Western Australian Poems of John Boyle O'Reilly

After spending eighteen months as a prisoner in the Western Australian penal colony, Fenian John Boyle O'Reilly escaped to the United States. He settled in Boston, where he led a short but dramatic life as newspaper editor, civil libertarian, spokesman for Irish independence, and poet of considerable success.

O'Reilly's poetry lost much of its appeal after the first quarter of the twentieth century. His frequently declamatory style, which he had adopted in America from the Young Ireland poets, no longer read comfortably. Unfortunately, all of his poetry, much of which is still worthy of our attention, fell victim to O'Reilly's loss of popularity. Among his worthwhile poems were several of those he wrote about Western Australia. These poems are free of Young Ireland influence.

In Fanatic Heart: A Life of John Boyle O'Reilly (University of Western Australian Press, 1997) A.G. Evans writes that O'Reilly's Western Australian poetry shows ‘a rare understanding, sensitivity, and warm regard for the strange environment which he inhabited for a short time’. What Evans is referring to here are poems like "Western Australia" in which, in a series of sensuous images, O'Reilly responds to the ‘mystery’ of W.A.'s beautiful but songless birds and ‘myriad’ but scentless flowers, and concludes with the delightful conceit that God has not yet completed his work in W.A., which is ‘waiting with soft pain/The spouse who comes to wake [her] sleeping heart.’

O'Reilly's W.A. poems were not limited to responses to its flora and fauna. He was fascinated by what might become of this strange land, at the time a dumping ground for England's unwanted and Ireland's patriots. This fascination led, in an untitled poem which begins with the apostrophe, ‘Nation of sun and sin’, to a series of powerful images, which reveal an acute insight into the future of W.A. and, indeed, Australia as a whole:


Land of the songless birds,

What was thy ancient crime

Burning through lapse of time

Like a prophet's cursing words?


Aloes and myrrh and tears

Mix in thy bitter wine,

Drink while the cup is thine

Drink, for the draft is sign

Of thy reign in the coming years.


Through an analysis of the poems referred to above and several other O'Reilly W.A. poems, my paper will suggest that it is time for a fresh edition of the Western Australian poems of John Boyle O'Reilly. 

Dr. Conor Johnston,Massasoit Community College, Massachusetts. USA

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Voices from the Irish Margin: Sean O’Casey’s The Shadow of a Gunman and Christine Reid’s Joyriders

It could be maintained that Christina Reid’s Joyriders, set in the context of Belfast’s sectarian violence in 1986, is a play that addresses the concerns of northern Irish teenagers from social minorities. This play not only critically interrogates the intimidating political and economic mechanisms that undervalue teenagers, mostly Catholic, but also questions the canonicity of Sean O’Casey’s 1923 play, The Shadow of a Gunman, through the different views of young Irish audiences. This intertextuality lies in the fact that Joyriders, beginning with a theatrical production of the tragic ending of Gunman, reproduces many of Gunman’s dramatic elements and cross-examines them in a Belfast context. The protagonists of the two plays, not all surviving the sectarian hatred, illustrate the ways in which Irish nationalism is perceived as an entertaining, resentful, patriotic, or ignored subject, for the jobless, the homeless, drug addicts, and others on the margins of society. Through their eyes, political and religious conflicts are not necessarily the breeding ground for heroism, but reveal its absurdity and irrationality. This paper will therefore emphasise how O’Casey and Reid dramatize their critiques of relevant ideologies across several decades in Ireland. One important area of elaboration is how Reid’s adaptation of O’Casey’s masterpiece raises and foregrounds women’s issues.

Dr Wei H. Kao, Assistant Professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, National Taiwan University, TAIWAN

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Images that Memory Begets: Home and Away in Frances Stewart’s Our Forest Home

In 1822 Frances Stewart immigrated to Canada from Belfast with her husband to settle in the bush near what would become Peterborough, Ontario. From her arrival until the 1870’s, Stewart wrote to her Anglo-Irish friends describing the unfolding experiences of her growing family and her own reflections on encountering her new environment, while fondly evoking the social milieu in Ireland which had shaped her sensibilities. The genteel and civilized Stewart put a good face on the setbacks, constant hardships and social isolation that confronted the family as it attempted to settle in the primitive and challenging conditions facing early nineteenth-century immigrants on the Canadian frontier. 

Ostensibly a collection of letters and journal entries, Our Forest Home is a unique literary compilation, not the least because Stewart’s materials have been selected and bridged with significant passages by her daughter, who published what had been written as private documents to buttress her own claims as a writer. Thus, the text constitutes a three-way dialogue between the original private voice of the mother, the restricted version of that voice permitted by the daughter’s selection of materials, and the daughter’s own editorial interventions and contextualizations. Nevertheless, by examining those letters in which Stewart’s unfiltered voice finds expression, it is possible to access revealing facets of subjectivity evolving over the years. 

While letters of immigrants usually partake of recognizable formulaic elements they are also capable of transcending predictable practices to reveal individual consciousness in the process of profound transformation as it reacts to new spatiotemporal conditions. Focusing on the text’s rhetorical dimensions, on those syntactical and stylistic features by which images of the self achieve linguistic translation onto the page, this paper will suggest how the operations of memory create revealing indices of an evolving self. As the writing subject engages textually with matters such as home, landscape and community, with the individual’s relationship to remembered place, to physical and transcendent realities, to time and eternity, various images emerge that serve as unique markers of identity. This paper will explore some of these recurring images in an attempt to understand the unfolding consciousness of Frances Stewart the immigrant, adjusting to one world in the context of powerfully alluring memories of another.

Professor Michael Kenneally, Chair in Canadian Irish Studies, Centre for Canadian Irish Studies, Concordia University, Montreal, CANADA

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Spatial Reproductions of The Quiet Man: The Quiet Man Museum in Mayo, Ireland, as an interactive enactment of text and film

The Quiet Man lives on.’ So asserts, a website created to promote heritage sites in the county. Bringing to mind the 1951 John Ford film, text and image combine to tantalize the curious to visit ‘an exact replica of White-o-Mornin’ Cottage,’ where ‘all the furnishings, artifacts, costumes etc. are authentic reproductions’ of those seen on screen.

Hence The Quiet Man Museum in Cong joins other commemorative sites such as Historic Williamsburg and the Ulster Folk Museum as environments that immerse the visitor in an experience that exudes an aura of historic authenticity. The only difference is that The Quiet Man is a work of fiction, the original house used for the film is located elsewhere, and the event being commemorated can be evoked exactly as fresh as it ever was simply by playing a dvd. There is one clear advantage, however: guests are given an opportunity to take a further step and assume the identities of Sean, Mary Kate, and her brother Will—or John, Maureen and Barry—by dressing themselves in authenticated clothing, and act out the story before the cottage fireplace. Why not simply video this experience, and show it on TV instead of the film? Is this not better than Hollywood, in so many ways?

The purpose of this paper is to explore The Quiet Man Museum as an immersive environment that sets up a contrapuntal relationship between text (the original short story by Maurice Walsh), place (sites used in the film; the museum), and the virtual world of the film itself. It will explore hegemonic strategies for the reconstruction of historical experience, formulations of heritage narratives, and the dislocations afforded by travel experience as means to stabilize Irish, and especially American-Irish, cultural affiliations.

Dr. Rhona Richman Kenneally, Department of Design and Computation Arts, Concordia University, Montreal, CANADA

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A Reality Distinct from the Actual: An Alternative World in the Poetry of Walter de la Mare and Matthew Sweeney

Matthew Sweeney mentions that there are three poems which first drew him into the world of poetry in his childhood: Yeats’ “The Stolen Child” and “The Song of Wandering Aengus”, and de la Mare’s “The Listeners”. What is common to these three poems is that they all deal with the non-human world and create the mysterious, ghostly atmosphere which cannot be clearly explained with reasons. This first encounter with the mysterious world must have made a great impression on him, because this has been one of the marked characteristics of Sweeney’s own poetry.

In Sweeney’s poetry, the actual world gradually and almost unnoticeably turns into an alternative world, where non-realistic things happen as if they were natural. Sweeney’s alternative world is the world where the dead can coexist with the living, and where the dead live and act just like living humans. The border between these two worlds becomes almost invisible, and the dead and the living, humans and animals, become unfettered and freely move between the two. In my paper, I will focus on the world beyond the world of men in both poets’ works, and discuss how ‘the world of alternative reality’ is captured and presented by both poets.

Dr. Rina Kikuchi, Associate Professor, Shiga University, JAPAN

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Intertextuality in Éilís Ní Dhuibhne’s Summer Pudding

Summer Pudding is the third story in Éilís Ní Dhuibhne’s collection The Inland Ice (1997). My paper will explore the intersections between myth, history, and fiction in the story, within the context of the book as a whole. Set in the mid-nineteenth century, Summer Pudding focuses on two Irish girls (one of whom is the narrator) who, after the Famine has ravaged their village, make their way to Llangollen in Wales, where they live with tinkers before taking up service in the house of Sarah Ponsonby and Eleanor Butler (the “Ladies of Llangollen”).

For Summer Pudding, Ní Dhuibhne borrows creatively from historical accounts about the Ladies of Llangollen, and from George Borrow’s descriptions of the destitute Irish in Wales in Wild Wales (1862). Through the intertextuality within the story, and by interweaving the stories of her collection with the folk tale “The Search for the Lost Husband”, Ní Dhuibhne uses her fiction to explore the borderland where myth and history meet.

Professor José Lanters, English Department, University of Wisconsin, USA 

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‘If the man in the moon was a jew, jew, jew’: Unearthing anti/Jewish iconology in Ulysses.

 Castigation of the Jew is nearly as old as Christianity itself. In Joyce studies alone many scholars have explored the various influences that helped shape Joyce’s representation of “Jewishness”, and his import and exploitation of the “Jew” as a [stereo] type. However, far less has been discussed of the anti-Semitisms present in the text, and little has been explored of the subtle yet pervasive undercurrent of anti/Jewish iconographic vocabulary inscribed within Ulysses, the roots of which can be traced back hundreds of years.

Anti-Jewish topoi began to emerge in Christian works of art around the twelfth-century as long held accusations of malfeasance were transformed into a visual vocabulary of otherness. In locating the beginnings of anti-Jewish iconography I am not attempting to trace their chains of transmission through to Joyce, a task that may be impossible despite the encyclopaedic sweep of Ulysses. Nor, in identifying particular sources as the earliest surviving loci for much subsequent anti-Jewish iconography, am I claiming that they define any real meanings in Ulysses.

My objective is to uncover—to unearth—the anti/Jewish sign in Ulysses. Joyce’s iconoclasm ensures that the floating signifier stains the text, forever keeping the ‘professors busy…arguing over what [is] meant’. My argument is that the meaning of the anti/Jewish sign is determined by a complicated dialogic process in which historical motifs interact with, inform, and are transformed by local and specific cultural, economic, religious and political circumstances.

Jarred Lesser, English/Irish Studies, University of New South Wales, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA

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The Monologue in 1990s Irish Theatre: Intertextuality, Intention, Internationalisation

The monologue form has been an important part of Irish drama throughout its history, being used in such works as Friel’s Faith Healer (1979) and many of the short plays of Beckett. From 1994 onwards, monologue became unusually popular amongst Irish dramatists, being strongly associated with a trio of young male authors who emerged during the decade: Conor McPherson, Mark O’Rowe, and Enda Walsh. This paper considers the interrelated issues of intertextuality and internationalisation in the Irish dramatic monologue, relating the popularity of the form during the 1990s to the increased globalization of Irish society and culture. It suggests that the Irish dramatic monologue creates a contrast between the isolation of the characters onstage – and, by extension, the increasing isolation experienced by people within Irish society – and the social bond formed by the audience as interpreters of the action. It concludes by considering the relationship between monologue and community in contemporary Irish culture.

Dr Patrick Lonergan, English Department, NUI Galway, IRELAND

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Iceland Fishermen and the Islands of Ireland

In 1896, W.B. Yeats famously advised John Millington Synge to ‘give up Paris’ and go to the Aran Islands. Yeats advised his friend to ‘live there as if you were one of the people themselves; express a life that has never found expression.’ Synge took the advice and made his first journey there in 1898. In the three months leading up to this trip, he read Pierre Loti’s Iceland Fishermen and took a copy with him as he made his first crossing to the Aran Islands.

In 1917, another copy of this book was carried to another island off the Irish coast. It was taken to the Blasket Islands by Brian O’Ceallaiigh and given to Tomas O’Crohan. In the story of the genesis of the Blasket texts, it is commonly said that Iceland Fishermen was offered to the old fisherman in order to persuade him to write his autobiography, a task for which he showed a certain reluctance.

This paper examines the relationship between Loti’s now largely forgotten text with the politics of Irish culture at the turn of the twentieth century and its role to prompt writers both of whom were being urged to articulate a life hitherto unexpressed.

Dr. Irene Lucchitti, Wollongong University, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA

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Worthy of the New Ireland?: Reading Joyce’s Dubliners in the light of changing critical perceptions

Modernist works, and especially those of Ireland, are being re-read by contemporary criticism in the light of postcolonial and new historical studies. While discussions of the formal properties of writers such as Joyce are fruitful, and there are many parallels with Western contemporaries that suggest an internationalism to his writing, this has often lead to an ignoring or outright denial of the connections between this work and Irish politics. I have recently written about how the assertion that Modernism is apolitical has lost currency in contemporary critical circles. For example, Nels C. Pearson reads Beckett’s Endgame as a transcendence of Hegel’s Master/Slave dialectic, as an overcoming of the dilemma (outlined by Fanon amongst others) that even as they make gestures to expel it from the new nation, postcolonial nations are necessarily dependent on the culture of the former Empire. This paper will read Joyce’s Dubliners in the light of that and other recent scholarship and will discuss how the text foregrounds constructed identity, being the Other and the manufacturing and contestation of identity in an emerging nation: the new Republic.

Dr. Michael Stuart Lynch, Assistant Professor of English Literature, United Arab Emirates University, THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

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The ancient world in an Irish bog: intertextuality and Hiberno-English in Irish versions of the classic

This paper proposes to examine the use of older texts such as Greek classical plays and translations from literature of other nations into modern Irish versions, using Hiberno-English. This has been carried out by writers such as Brian Friel, Seamus Heaney, Brendan Kenneally, and Frank McGuinness, to name but a few. Some writers have criticised this activity, claiming that the original work is thereby diluted and loses authenticity.

This paper refutes that stricture, and claims instead that the “translations” help readers and audiences to relate to the universality of feelings and experiences in the texts both old and new.

It concentrates on the work of Marina Carr in her adaptations of Greek tragedy to contemporary Ireland, and examines her extensive use of Hiberno-English to give new life to old situations and to show their relevance to present-day Ireland.

Dr Patricia A. Lynch, Department of Languages and Cultural Studies, University of Limerick, IRELAND

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‘Crimson the face of shame': Marina Carr's Ariel reconstitutes Greek Tragedy

This paper will examine in depth the intertextuality between Marina Carr’s 2002 play Ariel and Euripides’s Iphigenia at Aulis while also taking into account Carr’s indebtedness to the Oresteia of Aeschylus and the Electras of Sophocles and Euripides.

 I will argue that Carr creates an even more sordid and brackish situation than do any of the ancients; her contemporary world is one of monumental greed, overweening ambition, and immature emotions. By not simply retelling the Iphigenia in the Irish midlands but strategically reshaping it, Carr succeeds in branding her setting as a grimy den of cheap politics, misplaced religious fervor, and breathtaking violence.

 The paper will focus particularly on the Carr counterparts to Agamemnon (Fermoy), Clytemnestra (Frances) and Iphigenia (Ariel), emphasizing the complex “textual web” that Carr weaves in her periodic allegiance to but frequent variations on her originals. Notwithstanding Agamemnon’s shortcomings, for example, no one will mistake the grubby politician Fermoy for a classical king. Frances’s boldness puts Clytemnestra in her shadow, and Ariel’s small role poignantly reduces Iphigenia to a minor character. The sins of former generations are matched by the mendacious cruelty of Carr’s squalid and shocking world. 


Professor Vivian Valvano Lynch, St. John’s University, Queens, New York, USA

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Yone Noguchi in Yeats's Japan

Ezra Pound has long been credited with introducing William Butler Yeats to the Noh in 1913, but it was actually the Japanese poet Yone Noguchi (1875-1947) who first proposed Yeats should study the Noh, as early as 1907, when he published an article, “Mr Yeats and the No” in the Japan Times.

My discovery of this article, along with a group of hokku poems Yeats plagiarized from Noguchi, should significantly change our understanding of the intertextual dynamics of Yeats's Japanese interests. Although Yeats neglected to publicly acknowledge Noguchi, his cultural borrowings were not a one-sided “appropriation” or “discovery” as scholars have suggested, but part of a complex interchange in which both Noguchi and Yeats exploited cross-cultural commonalities toward analogous projects of cultural nationalism. 

Noh and hokku provided Yeats with useful poetic and dramatic models rooted in an exotic tradition, while Noguchi credited Yeats's poems with ‘the sudden awakening of Celtic temperament in my Japanese mind’ and learned from the Irish poet how traditional forms could be revived, reinvented, and made relevant to modern audiences. 

Dr. Edward Marx, Associate Professor of Euro-American Culture, Faculty of Law and Letters, Ehime University, JAPAN

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The Severing Seas: The Structure of Sailing from Bran to Yeats

 Voyages often recur in Irish literature and take various forms such as wanderings and pilgrimages. Sometimes they are inner and spiritual as in Yeats’s “Sailing to Byzantium”.

 The earliest known tale of immrama is Imram Brain, The Voyage of Bran. It belongs to the genre of the imramma in early Irish literature, being ascribed usually to the 7th or 8th century. It has, at the same time, the characteristics of the echtra, adventures. Hence, Imram Brain maic Febail, ocus a Echtra, The Voyage of Bran son of Febal and his Adventure.

In Joyce’s Ulysses the idea of wanderings is implicit in the coming of an old woman to the Martello tower: ‘The doorway was darkened by an entering form’, and she brings milk and says, ‘Taste it, sir.’ It is just like the apple the fairy left to Condla to eat in Echtra Condla, The Adventure of Conla. The Martello tower and the old woman echo the opening scene of The Voyage of Bran. Bran takes the silver branch in his hand that a woman in strange raiment left and goes into his father’s fort to hear her song of invitation to a distant isle of the happy otherworld under the waves, the land of eternity.

In The Wanderings of Oisin, the first important work of Yeats as the poet’s carrier, Niamh from the Danaan shore appears from the forest before the Fiana and invites Oisin to the Land of Youth, Tír na nÓg, and he journeys with her under the waves. In “Sailing to Byzantium”, however, ‘I have sailed the seas’ and come to the land of art, alone, with resolution and without an invitation, seeking to be gathered into the ‘artifice of eternity’. The sea is a border bearing a psychic shift in literary imagination.

Professor Ken'ichi Matsumura, Chuo University, Tokyo, JAPAN

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Absence on display: David Park's Swallowing the Sun

Swallowing the Sun can be read as a re-working of the conventional Troubles thriller, in which the interdependent nature of private and state violence in Belfast are clearly established and cultural and material inequity are highlighted as causes of ongoing violence and trauma. In this work Park employs many of the set conventions of the popular thriller: a hidden weapon, the death of an innocent victim, subterfuge, and the pursuit of the master criminal, but refuses the ending conventional thrillers often provide, in which a return to the established order of the day is advocated.

By demonstrating that ‘… an external standpoint to the present age and a greater depth and breadth of awareness come … not by enmeshing oneself in the memory of popular culture, but by remembering what is excluded from the ruling memory schemata of our time’ (David Gross, Lost Time: 2000, 114), Swallowing the Sun reveals the previously hidden breaks in the “textual web” that has until recently constituted the Troubles Thriller in Northern Ireland.  Here, Park subtly employs the form and conventions of that genre while arguing that it is the pressure to be quiet in the face of suffering that is the real enemy to both individual and state welfare.

Caitlin McGuinness, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, AUSTRALIA

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A Portrait of young Joyce: the endless knot and the Mangan imagination

That James Joyce’s imagination was profoundly intertextual is a critical given. Joyce himself gave the greatest credit to writers outside of the Irish tradition: Ibsen, Dante, D’Annunzio, and Bruno are chief among early influences. The role of the nineteenth century Irish poet James Mangan as one of his earliest inspirations however, has been underestimated. The true theme of Joyce’s 1902 paper on “James Clarence Mangan”, that ‘creature of lightning’ has been little understood, and consequently his early interest in Ireland’s mythical and historical legacy has been discernibly clouded.

I argue that Joyce’s theories based on this Irish poet lay at the heart of his artistic endeavours. To overlook Joyce’s fascination and identification with Mangan is to agree with Richard Ellmann’s essentially unimaginative model: that imagination for Joyce consisted of the ‘absorption of stray material’.  I demonstrate that, even as he casts his eyes eastward to the Continent and immerses himself in the broader Western tradition, the early Joyce’s artistic instincts are rooted in a native tradition. Of Mangan he writes: ‘East and West meet in that personality (we know how); images interweave there like soft, luminous scarves and words ring like brilliant mail’ (78).

Dr Stephen McLaren, Humanities, The University of Western Sydney, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA

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The Female James Joyce? James Joyce, Maeve Brennan and the Begetting of Fictional Dublin

The posthumous publication of Maeve Brennan's collection of stories The Springs of Affection in 1997 prompted any number of reviewers to compare the writer herself, self-exiled to America, to her famous predecessor James Joyce, self-exiled to continental Europe, and this volume of Dublin-based stories to Joyce's famous Dubliners.  This was an understandable if rather predictable reaction.  

But how valid is the comparison of Joyce's carefully planned and revolutionary collection to a collection that Brennan herself had no part in but was instead put together by others long after her death by selecting stories from the two collections published during her lifetime, In and Out of Never Never Land (1969) and Christmas Eve (1974), both of which had mixed stories set in Dublin with others set in and around Manhattan? And how truly important was the precedent set by Joyce to the development of a writer whose most direct influence, as Angela Bourke observes in her recent biography of Brennan, would seem to have been her fellow writer and editor at The New Yorker, William Maxwell? 

Professor John M. Menaghan, Department of English, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, USA

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The Anxiety of History: Sebastian Barry’s A Long Long Way

For much of the twentieth century Catholic Ireland’s engagement with the First World War was rarely acknowledged. The prevailing nationalist ideology demanded that public memory be focused instead on the achievements of the war of Independence against Britain. In such an environment, the role of Irish regiments in Flanders and elsewhere had to be expunged from public record. 

Irish literature seemingly conspired in what Roy Foster referred to as this ‘policy of intentional amnesia’. Little attention was given to the War either during or in the decades after the conflict. Admittedly, there’s the poetry of Francis Ledwidge and a couple of novels by Patrick McGill, and later, Liam O’Flaherty’s The Return of the Brute and Sean O’Casey’s The Silver Tassie. In recent decades the subject has become more palatable, and Jennifer Johnston’s How Many Miles to Babylon? and Frank McGuinness’s Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme have in particular resurrected the tortured lives of soldiers on the Western Front. 

In none of these, however, has Catholic participation been foregrounded or interrogated—that would be a too drastic a break with nationalist ideology. Sebastian Barry’s 2005 novel, A Long Long Way, has challenged that tradition of amnesia. By focusing on the maelstrom swirling around the head of his protagonist, a Catholic soldier, Willie Dunne, as he grapples with what is happening in Dublin and Flanders, Barry is exploring the intersection of powerful historical moments with the lives of ordinary people. This paper will explore his treatment of this intersection.  

Associate Professor Frank Molloy, School of Humanities, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, AUSTRALIA

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Homage to Dionysus: Heaney’s Sweeney, Orpheus, and Wilmington Giant

As Heaney asserts about Brian Merriman’s The Midnight Court, ‘the death of Orpheus ... provides an acoustic where the end of Cúirt an Mheán-Oiche can be heard to new effect ...’. But if Merriman’s character serves for Heaney as ‘another manifestation of the traditional image of Orpheus’, the figure also ties the poem to Dionysus, partner to the goddess; the poet-narrator’s punishment acts as retribution for turning his back on the pair; and Heaney’s assertion that the poem’s ‘power is augmented by being located within the force-field of an archetype’ is canny indeed.

Quick to point to a goddess figure in Heaney’s verse, critics have yet to appreciate the presence in his poetry of her male consort. This essay redresses that omission by examining the Dionysian characters appearing in Heaney’s Sweeney Astray, The Midnight Verdict, and "Bone Dreams”, an often-overlooked sequence from North. Sweeney’s relationship with the mill-hag, the Merriman narrator’s connection to Orpheus/Dionysus, and the role of the chalk giant carved on an English hillside in "Bone Dreams" constitute acts of homage to a powerful male principle as vital to the cosmic myth, at least for Jungians like Heaney, as the goddess herself.

Dr. Karen Marguerite Moloney, Professor of English, Weber State University, USA

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The Land War in Irish Literature.

For W.B, Yeats the Wyndham Act of 1903 created a ‘shaken house’. To what degree did the literature of the land war contribute to the movement that produced that legislation? This paper will look at the literature of the campaign for tenant proprietorship in the years between the founding of the Land League in 1879 and August 1903 when the Wyndham Act became law. It will consider the textual web of folklore, history and politics in the Land War literature in Irish and in English around the major themes of eviction and resistance.

Professor Maureen Murphy, Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York, USA

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John Banville’s Intratextual Fantasies

The pattern of perpetually renegotiating the meaning and shape of the topos of the house is repeatedly played out in John Banville’s work, from Birchwood onwards; for example in Eclipse, where Cleave concludes his instalment in the Banvillean pantheon by alluding to the house: ‘Yes, I shall give her the house. I hope that she will live here. I hope she will let me visit her … I have all kinds of wild ideas, mad projects. We might fix up the place between us, she and I’ (p.213). This house is a fictional counterpart to the house in which Banville’s heroes have always lived, like the house on Rue Street in Athena, or the house in the recent The Sea, and the same house in which Gabriel Godkin assured us that he would remain at the close of Birchwood, and he has been true to his word.

Furthermore, Cleave, of Eclipse, like Gabriel, Freddie, Ben White et al, may be seen as a self-reflexive counterpoint to Banville the artist, who has always existed in various incarnations in the work. So too has the girl, representative of the constant unsayable mystery, or absence, after which Morrow trails in Athena in the shape of A. or as Flora in “The Visit”, “Summer Voices”, The Possessed and Ghosts, or as Sophie/Adele in Mefisto, Josie/the girl in the painting in The Book of Evidence, Cass Cleave in Shroud, Rose in Birchwood.

The precise meaning of these intratextual designs differs in each text but it is clear that the revisitation of key issues, plot elements and aesthetic concerns are of immense significance. The network of textual echoes and careful construction of different orders of characters within Gabriel Godkin’s (of Birchwood) empty white landscape engenders a deep sense of an uncompromising fictionalized world. The purpose of this paper is to initially illustrate the complex texture of Banville’s highly textured intratextual universe, after which the aesthetic significance of the construction of such an intricately stylised world will be assessed, especially in the context of how fiction intersects with the social. 

Associate Professor Neil Murphy, Acting Head Division of English, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technical University, SINGAPORE

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The Abominable Lamp-post: Yeats and Morris

That Yeats was influenced by William Morris is known to every reader of his Autobiographies; yet the specifics of that influence remain scattered through monographs on the one or the other.

The aim of the present paper, therefore, is to sketch a synthesis.There was the influence of Morris’ writings, as asserted repeatedly by Yeats; there was their cross-fertilisation, in his own work and in Yeats’, by his landmark forays into the visual arts; there were the paintings and poems in celebration of Morris’ wife by her lover Rossetti; there was Morris’ attempt to transmute the collapse of his life represented by these through identification with the heroism of the Nordic sagas; there was his recognition that Yeats’ invocation of the Celtic romances was similarly personal; there was the mode of Yeats’ doing so, which owed so much to Morris’ associate Burne-Jones; and there were the Jungian archetypes of order in the face of disintegration which have been traced throughout Morris’ work, and which underpin Yeats’ vision of the centrality and transformative power of Byzantium.

Professor Ciaran Murray, Chuo University, Tokyo, JAPAN

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Intertextuality and the Ethics of Translation

This paper proposes to examine the relationship between intertextuality and translation in the poems of John Montague. John Montague’s poetic work is dotted with translations, especially from the Irish and the French. Keeping in mind the work on ethics of translation as outlined by a variety of critics and theorists (notably Antoine Berman), I will examine the relationship between the translation of poems and the construction of John Montague’s 1978 collection, The Great Cloak. I will attempt to tease out the web of influences and address the question of the thorny issue of translation for a poet: does it serve to beget fresh images or to recycle and re-appropriate the work of others?

Dr. Clíona Ní Ríordáin, Université Paris 3-Sorbonne Nouvelle, FRANCE

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The Irishry in Tom Moore’s Lalla Rookh

First published in 1817, Tom Moore’s Lalla Rookh: an Oriental Romance, a quartet of oriental tales in verse within a prose framework, inspired the imaginations of artists, dramatists and composers to draw on its many images of fantasy, horror and eroticism to create other works on art. After the 1861 edition, published nine years after Moore’s death, which contained 69 illustrations by John Tenniel, the work was so well known as to be ripe for widespread parody—even Tenniel himself joined in the fun with a reference to Moore’s third section “Paradise and the Peri” in a 1874 Punch cartoon about Disraeli’s recent general election victory. Early reviewers detected affinities between Moore’s oriental interests and Moore’s Irish background.

Recent Irish post-colonial critics have argued to establish Moore’s dishonest and hypocritical cross-cultural use of Arab and Indian tales to misrepresent Ireland’s subjection to British imperial rule in an allegory which should have been honestly entitled ‘Larry Rourke’! This paper will revisit the debate about the nature of Irishry in Lalla Rookh, and  the topic of “intertextuality” will be well to the fore in the discussion.

Jerry Nolan, Independent scholar, Chiswick, London , UK

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'Fact, Fiction and Intertextuality in Joseph O'Connor's The Star of the Sea' 

The publication of Joseph O'Connor's The Star of the Sea marked a decisive breakthrough in the career of a writer whose earlier novels had achieved a degree of critical approbation, but which had not reached a wide audience. The Star of the Sea differs most obviously from O'Connor's earlier works in its choice of a historical, rather than a contemporary, theme and setting. The work is also notable for its self-conscious engagement with the novel form and with questions of truth and falsehood. It takes the form of a series of supposedly authentic documents, from letters and newspaper articles to extracts from the ship's log and an unfinished novel by an American novelist who also numbers among the novel's cast of characters. These 'fake' documents are placed side-by-side with genuine items—extracts from emigrant letters, Punch cartoons, and quotations from figures as diverse as John Mitchel and Charles Trevelyan. 

The novel freely acknowledges its 'intertextuality' at a number of levels—providing a list of sources for the historical material in notes, for instance. It also acknowledges fictional intertexts, referencing the work of Dickens and Emily Brontë. The text is however silent, on other, arguably more important intertexts, including its debt to nineteenth-century Irish and Irish-American fiction, including the work of Maria Edgeworth, Lady Morgan and Mary Anne Sadlier. This paper will attempt to assess the effect of the novel's blurring of fact and fiction as well as exploring the significance of its buried intertexts. 

Dr Clíona Ó Gallchoir, Department of English, University College Cork, IRELAND

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‘You could not have a green rose’: Joyce's and Deane's Rewriting of Yeats's Irish Symbol

More than any other single work, Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man stands behind Deane’s Reading in the Dark as an inspirational model and as a cultural and literary touchstone. In so far as Deane’s novel can be read as a buildungsroman, he extends Joyce’s radical refashioning of the genre to reflect the postcolonial context of his protagonist. Considered within the tradition of Irish literary modernism, Deane’s novel extends and contemporizes Joyce’s critique of the Irish Revival. His novel follows Joyce’s in depicting his protagonist’s development in fragmented vignettes made coherent not just by the evolving narrative consciousness but by deep, resonant images that accrue in meaning and significance over the course of the novel.  

Two images in Reading in the Dark are especially important in this context. First, the image of “reading” in the broadest semiotic sense—that is, interpreting, assimilating and negotiating the storied culture the protagonists are born into—connects Deane’s novel to Portrait as subversive of the classical buildungsroman paradigm: in evolving from “reader” to “writer,” neither protagonist, unlike the more traditional European coming-of-age-heroes, achieves assimilation and autonomous selfhood within a dominant class and a normative culture. Second, Deane, again following Joyce’s cue, develops the rose image, not just as part of the narrator’s internalized symbology, but as a broader statement about how the rose, as a revivalist symbol prominent in the early poetry of Yeats and in the work of other Irish writers, represents one strand of a tangled web of history which results in The Troubles of Northern Ireland, and which in turn makes the coming-of-age of his anonymous protagonist so traumatic. 

Professor Kevin O'Connor, English Department, Phillips Academy, USA

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From Douglas Hyde to Mike Mignola: the improbable resurfacings of Teig O’Kane’s corpse

The ‘image that yet / Fresh images beget’ I’ve chosen comes from a story, “Teig O’Kane and the Corpse” / Tomás Ó’Catháin agus an corpán” that Douglas Hyde wrote based on a Gaelic ballad that he’d heard once and was subsequently only able to locate in a fragmentary form. It was published in Yeats’s 1888 Fairy & Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry (the gem of the collection, according to Yeats), Hyde’s 1889 Leabhair Sgeulaigheachta, and George Dottin’s Contes Irlandaises. The story concerns an irresponsible young man who was compelled by the Sidhe to carry a corpse around various graveyards in Leitrim and lay it to rest before dawn. The tale conjures a memorable image of the corpse latched onto Tomas, indicating whither he should go with a pointing bony finger. This intertext / image provides an allegory for the complex interdependency between the carrier (translator / quoter) and the precursor intertext, which I’ll explore in the paper.

Mike Mignola, creator of the popular comics-series Hellboy, adapted the tale in the comic-book, The Corpse, which he identifies as the work against which he compares ‘everything else I do’. The pointing corpse plays an important cameo role in Guillermo del Toro’s movie, based on the Dark Horse comics series, Hellboy (2004). The many re-incarnations of the tale span the gamut from a Gaelic folksong rooted in County Leitrim to the mass-mediated artistic and commercial success of the Hellboy comic-series and movie, and its spin-off trademark franchises: people across the globe with internet access can now buy a Hellboy lunchbox, figurines, and 2006 calendar.

My paper explores how the pointing-corpse intertext exerts influence over its manifold new contexts, and how the various media—Gaelic ballad, Gaelic & English printed story, comic-book, and movie—cite the intertext. (My paper will include excerpts from the comic & the movie.)

Associate Professor Laura O’Connor, University of California, Irvine, USA

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Lost Infants in the Irish Psyche

 The infant who has died or been taken away has been a common theme in Irish writings from the earliest times. Early Irish law texts dictate that children of incest must be set adrift on the sea, and early Irish literature gives examples of infants who are killed, set adrift or left at churches. In the early modern period “killeens”, unsanctioned burial grounds for unbaptised infants, proliferated, demonstrating a concern for lost infants in opposition to the legal and religious authorities. The outpouring of writing, both journalistic and literary, prompted by the infamous “Kerry babies” case in 1984 indicates that the complex emotional, religious and social preoccupations surrounding the death of an unbaptised infant remain close to the surface in Irish thought. This paper explores expressions in literature, art and folk culture, of the preoccupation with lost infants at various periods in Ireland’s past, and suggests common or recurring threads: echoes of the past influencing the present. 

Dr. Pamela O'Neill, Research Fellow, Department of History, University of Melbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA

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The Literary Tradition in John Hewitt’s Poetry

In several poems and in his autobiography, John Hewitt describes how his grandmother kept snippets of poetry by Tennyson and others in her garter. My earliest memory of the poet himself is when he told me that he used to keep a volume of Wordsworth’s poetry in his pocket. It is, thus, not surprising that references to English, Irish and occasionally American poets—notably to Robert Frost—appear frequently in his work. He even devoted much time and effort to analysing and structuring a specifically Northern Irish poetic tradition; witness several historical accounts as well as his editions of The Rhyming Weavers and Other Country Poets of Antrim and Down (1974) and of William Allingham’s work (1967). In my paper I will explore how Hewitt’s reading is reflected in his Collected Poems.

Professor Britta Olinder, English Department, Göteborg University, SWEDEN

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Word Maps: J.M. Synge’s prose writing and the Ordnance Survey

When J.M. Synge first arrived on the Aran Islands he recalled ‘Petrie’s words that the clothing of the Irish peasant…has rich positive tints with nothing gaudy’ (Kiberd: Synge and the Irish Language, 1979). Having read Stokes’ Life of Petrie as early as 1889, Synge’s journey to the Aran Islands was deeply informed by Petrie’s writings, and also those of John O’Donovan, who had made the same journey in 1839 as part of his work under Petrie for the topographic division of the Ordnance Survey of Ireland (O.S.I).

I intend in this paper to investigate the ways in which Synge’s writing about his travels in the Aran Islands, Connemara and Wicklow respond to the work of the O.S.I. and the scholars who were gathered together in its topographic division. Synge creates in his prose a fund of geographical information that both draws from and competes with the O.S.I.’s cartographic depiction of the landscape, in the process offering a critique of cartography and an alternative way of knowing the world in textual description.

The textual web that connects the O.S.I. to the writers of the Anglo-Irish revival deserves far more than the paltry study it has received so far, and this paper will analyse just one strand of that web, while also offering a general theory of the effects that the O.S.I. had on later Irish writing. 

Professor Cóilín Parsons, Department of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University, New York, USA

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The Irish Modernist Structure of Feeling

Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats and James Joyce have been represented sometimes as posing quite different if not opposing aesthetic choices and perspectives. This paper seeks to understand these writers as part of the distinct and coherent formation of Irish modernism.

To this end, it focuses not on summary and critique but on what Raymond Williams would have termed the “structure of feeling” underlying this literary formation—that is, the tension between the received culture and the struggle to represent and articulate its consequences. I will show how these writers give us individual perspectives on a common set of themes, tropes, problems and ideas stemming from the experience of Irish modernity.

Dr Gary Pearce, Librarian at RMIT University Library, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

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Temenos, Trauma, Topography and Photography: Remembering ‘The Disappeared’

On May 27th 1999, The Northern Ireland Location of Victims’ Remains Bill was passed following the IRA’s disclosure of secret burial sites supposedly containing the remains of eight people they ‘disappeared’ in the 1970s, early 1980s. After extensive excavations at these locations, scattered throughout the remote, liminal hinterland of the border counties, the remains of three victims were discovered, although the rest remaining missing.

These searches were the photographic subject of David Farrell’s exhibition ‘Innocent Landscapes’ (2000) and its portrayal of the ‘violation’ of landscape caused by these enormous excavations which scarred an otherwise picturesque landscape: a desecration that recalled the violent annihilation of the ‘disappeared’ and the denial of their burial rites.

This paper will examine how Innocent Landscapes critiques the foundational images and iconography of Irish nationalism through its excavation of the past / the border / republican violence. This paper will also explore how the significance—and signification-—of Innocent Landscapes resides primarily in its explicit dialectic between the material presence of the photographic artefact and the profound sense of its doubly absent photographic subject: the ‘disappeared.’ It will also contend that the innate ambiguity of photography, given its paradoxical sense of materiality and loss, and the simultaneity of presence and absence, provides an ethical, apposite medium for representing the lost graves of the ‘disappeared’.

Dr. Mark Phelan Drama Department, School of Languages Literatures and Performing Arts, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, NORTHERN IRELAND

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Street fighting, ceremonial hats and the Spanish Civil War: Brian Friel and Arnold Wesker

In 1958 Arnold Wesker’s Chicken Soup with Barley was produced by the Belgrade Theatre Company in Coventry. Following the fortunes of the Khan family from 1936-1956, the play examines the meaning of family against the background of fascism, communism and social change in post-war Britain.

Nearly half a century later, Brian Friel’s play Dancing at Lughnasa, first produced in 1991, concerns the Mundy family and examines the meaning of family against the background of fascism, modernisation and social change in post-independence Ireland.

This paper will compare these iconic plays, listening for echoes, as both Friel and Wesker consider not only the fate of the family and the women that hold them together, but also the definition of masculinity, the need for song and the role of nostalgia.

The paper will also consider the film of Lughnasa as Pat O’Connor and Frank McGuinness’s version heightens, in particular, the emphasis of the play on masculinity and nostalgia. By examining these works together we can develop an idea of intertextuality that crosses national boundaries and opens Irish Studies up to influences and voices from outside Ireland. 

Dr. Emilie Pine, Department of English, University of York, UK

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Intertextual Consciousness in Jennifer Johnston: 'All those people whose words fill my head’

Jennifer Johnston’s work proves once again that literary texts do not exist in a cultural vacuum and that, consciously or unconsciously, purposefully or coincidentally, they engage in a dialogue with other texts. Johnston’s novels constantly evoke, question or re-affirm familiar words and images. Without pretending to trace the whole web of intertextual allusions in Johnston’s oeuvre, this paper will concentrate on the significance of the great literary canon (Shakespeare, Beckett, Chekhov) in her work.

Although most of Johnston’s novels explore distinctive Irish realities, they are not limited to one cultural realm. Concerned with global issues and universal questions as much as with the specific question of Irish identity, Johnston’s texts constantly cross borders through their intertextual dynamics. In Johnston, abundant allusions to and direct quotations from ‘the Bible, Shakespeare, Chekhov and Beckett and all those other people’ (Grace and Truth, 214) serve as a link with a literary heritage which spans generations and nations. The words filling the minds of Johnston’s characters refer the reader to very different literary sources. This reveals the ‘intertextual’, transgressive, polyphonic nature of all modern consciousness, literary texts and human psyche alike.

Yulia Pushkarevskaya, University College, Dublin, IRELAND

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‘God, wouldn’t they hop!’: Synge and the “Savage God”  

The objective is to read the work of J.M. Synge within the context of the fin-de-siècle fusion of art and anarchism of which Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi (1896) is the best-known theatrical expression. 

Katherine Worth’s The Irish Drama of Europe from Yeats to Beckett (1978) established the grounds for seeing the influence of European theatre on Synge’s work, but focused on his interest in the ethereal symbolist work of Maurice Maeterlinck rather than on the earthier aspects of late-C19th avant-garde theatre. It is with these that Synge concerned himself in a comment on Playboy of the Western World (1907): ‘the “gross” note, if you will, must have its climax no matter who may be shocked.’ 

The most recent biography of Synge, W.J. McCormack’s Fool of the Family (2000), noted that ‘Synge’s sojourns in Paris gave him a back-row seat at some of the rowdier sideshows of European civilisation entering crisis—the Dreyfus affair, the Arms Race, Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi’. While, as McCormack observes, Synge never referred to ‘the broad circumference’ of artistic experiment and political radicalism by which he was surrounded during his times in Paris, and did not accompany W.B. Yeats to the premier of Ubu, the ‘Savage God’ that Yeats saw ushered in by Jarry has key echoes in Synge’s work. Both Playboy of the Western World and Ubu were rejected by angry theatre audiences. This conscious provocation of the audience by denying them the expected confirmation of their values echoes the anarchist concept of ‘l’acte gratuit’, which destroys the systems and symbols of convention so as to effect an overthrow of the status quo. 

The paper then proposes to explore the late-nineteenth century Parisian context shared by Jarry and Synge in order to suggest readings of Synge’s work as cognisant of and sympathetic to the radical, revolutionary intentions of avant-garde theatre which he shares with Jarry; a dimension which has been obscured by the tendency to read Synge solely in the context of Irish nationalism and the Abbey theatre. 

Professor Shaun Richards, Irish Studies, Staffordshire University, UK

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Poetry and Propaganda: Oscar Wilde’s Post-trial Writings

This paper addresses the ways in which Wilde’s writings have generally been divided into pre- and post-trial periods. While acknowledging the extent to which both major works written by Wilde in the wake of his trial—De Profundis and ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’—have vastly different subject matter from their pre-trial counterparts, this paper examines the extent to which Wilde’s post-trial writings engender many of the qualities of his earlier writings—the notion of pedagogy; the conscious drawing on antecedents; the mythic and oral traditions—and refutes the argument that the post-trial Wilde brought a different aesthetic sensibility to his work. It notes, for example, that he was conscious of the didactic nature of certain stanzas of “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”, saying to Robert Ross ‘You are quite right in saying that the poem should end at “outcasts always mourn”, but the propaganda, which I desire to make, begins there. I think I shall call the whole thing Poésie et Propagande or Dichtung und Wahrheit’ (Complete Letters, p. 964). The Ballad was traditionally an oral form, and often used precisely for propaganda, as Wilde, as Irishman, would have been only too aware. The paper then goes on to discuss the way that Wilde, incarcerated and deprived of the seductive power of direct speech, engages the epistolary tradition in De Profundis in an attempt to play the role of pedagogue to the young Lord Alfred Douglas, directing him, as Socrates intended of the pedagogical relationship, to the path of virtue and the Good.

Dr Julie-Ann Robson, School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry, University of Sydney, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA

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The Boland Effect: Writing After Outside History

Eavan Boland’s critical and poetic voice is one of the most pervasive in contemporary Irish poetry. Her involvement with opening the Irish poetic tradition to women has been active, from leading poetry workshops to taking Field Day to task for eliding women from Irish literary history. She has influenced those who began writing after her, directly and indirectly.

Mary O’Malley and Sheila O’Hagan both have sequences of poems in which they take on the narrative voice of a historical Irish woman whose role in history has been degraded or relegated to folklore. These women both began publishing in the early 1990s, at which point Boland’s positions on the woman and nationalism, and the heroic and poetic traditions, was already well established in her poetry and in essays.

When O’Malley in her “Granuaile” sequence and O’Hagan in her sequence entitled “Anne Devlin” take on these same issues, a reader familiar with Boland’s poetry and prose sees many points of confluence in form and content. Using alter egos, these three poets move beyond rigid representations of national identity. Boland has shown the value of delving into the missing pieces in the Irish past, O’Malley brings the oral traditions of the West to bear, and O’Hagan is helping to complete the repossession of nationalist mythology. Together they represent a thread of contemporary Irish poetry that links women to the nation in a vital and participatory role.

Professor Marthine D. Satris, University of California, Berkeley, USA

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Word city vs. real city: Belfast between reality and fiction

Since the outbreak of the Northern Irish Troubles more than 700 novels and short stories dealing with the impact of political violence on Northern Irish society have been published. Most of them are set in the city of Belfast. Presenting a microcosm of Northern Ireland, in which the present tensions are found in their most concentrated form, Belfast becomes a metonym for division and conflict. Focusing on the literary representation of the city of Belfast this paper sets out to analyse the intertextual connections between literary and non-literary discourse of the Northern Irish conflict. In this context ‘Troubles novels’ such as Colin Bateman’s Divorcing Jack, Ian McDonald’s Sacrifice of Fools and Robert McLiam Wilson’s Eureka Street will be analysed on the basis of Burton Pike’s theory in that the concepts of ‘word city’ and ‘real city’ are opposed to each other.

As texts cannot be separated from the socio-cultural textuality from which they emerge they are an expression of a society’s social structures and value systems. Drawing on Bakhtin’s theories of carnivalisation and heteroglossia this paper will explore the different ways in which established social structures and conventional conceptions of the Troubles are deconstructed in literary discourse.

Dr. Stephanie Schwerter, School of Languages and Literature, University of Ulster, Coleraine, NORTHERN IRELAND

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Lord Dunsany: The Ghosts of the Past

Dunsany, of an Anglo-Irish family, very much interested in Ireland's state of affairs, found himself at the crossroads of two cultures, and therefore was irretrievably delving into the past of a nation in turmoil, namely the Ireland of the early 20th century.

He developed a taste for tales and an obsession for the passing of time in England and especially London.

His narratives show the influence of fairy tales, and are the ancestors to fantasy literature. He was fascinated by Eastern philosophies and religions, and also the Bible. He also makes ample use of primitivism, presented stereotypically as a more idyllic state than the one of modern civilisation which ironically pervades everything, even the midst of the African jungle.

He also uses upper classes to try and get away from too “black-and-white” images: the masters of England become enslaved, not only by the servants but mainly by their own prejudices of past grandeur.

The new images begotten, those of Dunsany's vision of a new order, are far from being idyllic, though. His analysis of human souls and feelings often relies on clichés, in a didactic way. Is not the seeking for the past, with nostalgia inevitably attached to it, a mere intellectual exercise to debunk “civilisation” altogether?

Dr. Dominique Seve, University of Le Havre, FRANCE

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Dublin Bohemia

The opening scene of James Joyce’s Ulysses is set in a strange-shaped building, the Martello Tower, on the outskirts of the most Western capital city in Europe—Dublin.  However, the appearances, dialogues and behaviours of its Bohemian characters, Stephen Dedalus and Malachi Mulligan, immediately connect its minor setting with major cultural hubs in Europe—London and Paris for example. In the early twentieth century, Bohemianism was a cosmopolitan and Pan-European phenomenon.

Stephen and Mulligan embody the stereotypical images of Bohemians in the early twentieth century: wandering in the city, being poor, borrowing small change, living in a garret (‘garret’ is from the Old French for watchtower) and striving for artistic success. Because Mulligan sponges off Stephen, his action is synchronized with the contemporary image of a Bohemian. Since Stephen’s artistic success seems to be never realized, his futurelessness is also identified with the Bohemian image. Among other things, Stephen is a returnee from the perpetual mecca for Bohemians—Paris.

Later, Stanislaus Joyce called Oliver St. John Gogarty ‘a Bohemian friend of Jim’s’; Gogarty compared Joyce with Arthur Rimbaud, one of the Bohemian iconic figures. Joyce’s fictional characters and the images given to their models and author are intertextually woven into the vast extent of the discourses consisting of Bohemian mythology.

Dr. Masaya Shimokusu, Shizuoka University of Art and Culture, JAPAN

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Dark Spaces. 'Emma Brown' by Clare Boylan and/or Charlotte Bronte

Clare Boylan’s novel Emma Brown is an interesting case of intertextuality.

Starting from the few existing pages of an unfinished novel by Charlotte Brontë entitled Emma, Boylan takes up the challenge to delve into the tradition and the conventions of a Victorian literary form to scan areas of psychic and social darkness. In fact, the mysterious young pupil who—in a stock Brontë situation—arrives at Fuchsia Lodge, is revealed to be not who she is, a fraud, a non-existing person with no past. Her search for her own name and her own self leads to a physical and metaphorical journey out of the small and closed spaces of a Brontë novel into the open spaces of the dark subworld of Victorian cities.

The purpose of this paper is to identify elements from Charlotte Brontë’s writing in her concern with an individual’s struggle with circumstances alongside typical Boylan’s concerns with dysfunctional families, pre-adolescence and social constructions. Strong gothic elements of secrecy underlie the novel and characterize its spaces, so that the interplay of different spaces is by itself an intertext, which at the same time represents a continuum with Boylan’s fiction.

Giovanna Tallone, Milan, ITALY

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‘Father, the gate is open’: intertextuality and the drama of masculinity in John Banville’s fiction

Julia Kristeva viewed intertextuality as a dynamic force within a writer’s very subjectivity, ‘involving destruction of the creative identity and reconstruction of a new plurality’. For the reader too, Kristeva found that intertextuality implied the possibility of ‘being reduced zero, to the state of crisis that is perhaps the necessary precondition of aesthetic pleasure’. Taking Kristeva’s link between intertextuality and subjectivity as a starting point, I will argue for a structurally parallel, though a somewhat different, process in John Banville’s fiction. 

In Banville’s work, this kind of fragmentation and re-creation of identity at the interstices of many textual voices needs to be analysed in terms of gender politics. Nick Mansfield (1997) has used the metaphor of masochism to show that traditional patriarchy is not weakened by the fragmentation of self or the relinquishment of agency. Rather, he contends that male power can exist in a masochistic modality by disavowing agency or defining selfhood as subjection to the other. For Mansfield, such representations strategically recuperate and consolidate power rather than give it up.  

Through a series of readings, I will argue that Banville’s novels construct a politically conservative masochistic account of masculine subjectivity, and explore the ways the aesthetic of ‘being reduced to zero’ is played out in his writing. 

Christopher Thomson, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND 

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Marvell or Eliot: Hyperbole needed: Influence of Metaphysical Poets in Medbh McGuckian’s Captain Lavender 

Seeking allusions to Marvell and Eliot in McGuckian’s poems should be quite appropriate, not only because all three of these poets are linked in their at least superficial ‘obscurity’, but also because their poetry (especially, with McGuckian’s Captain Lavender) shares a more important quality of the so-called metaphysical poets, who T.S. Eliot admired so much. Eliot, quoting Johnson’s criticism, or ‘impeachment’ of ‘metaphysical poets’—‘the most heterogeneous ideas are yoked by violence together’, turned it into a characteristic of their better works.

 In his essays, what T. S. Eliot values is association as opposed to dissociation, continuity, unity, or wholeness. Required both by the socio-cultural climate of the age, which experienced a sense of the collapse of European civilization after World War I, and by his private life, born American, suffering from, perhaps, a dissociative relationship with his wife, Eliot must have been acutely aware of the necessity of a sense of unity with the world or of building a common cultural basis for people including himself. For Eliot, a poet should be a creator of unity: ‘[W]hen a poet’s mind is perfectly equipped for its work, it is constantly amalgamating disparate experience … in the mind of the poet these experiences (having nothing to do with each other) are always forming new wholes.’ 

The method McGuckian consciously employs after she admitted openly, for the first time, the collapse of her world, private and public, is similar to the one Eliot recommended, referring to the metaphysical poets of some three hundred years ago, another religio-politically tumultuous age, though with smaller turbulence compared with his own period. Both of them (on McGuckian’s part, obviously influenced by Eliot) create indirect and allusive poetry with far-fetched conceits in order to restore, sometimes violently, a sense of unity between categories seemingly far apart from each other, ‘in the mind of the poet,’ in the poet’s own language. Different from Eliot’s imagery, which is mostly taken from Greek mythology, European Classics, the Bible or classical philosophy, McGuckian’s imagery is carefully chosen to mix traditional images with many of those from her private life as a female self or from her female sensibility, considered by her contemporary female writers as quite outside history and tradition. The range of heterogeneity in McGuckian poetry is intended to be large enough to give readers a greater surprise in finding a unity of categories, even opposing, or foreign, to each other. McGuckian’s strategy is to introduce things different from, foreign to, or far from, each other, in one space, aiming at producing ‘newness’ born into the border between the categories foreign to each other.

Professor Naoko Toraiwa, Meiji University, Tokyo, JAPAN

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‘Norn Iron’ and Seamus Heaney

If there is one thing Seamus Heaney and I have in common, it is that we were both born and brought up in ‘Norn Iron’ or Northern Ireland as it is known to the outsider (the ‘wee six’ of Seamus Heaney’s poem, Whatever you say, say nothing). We both attended The Queen’s University, Belfast and we both left ‘Norn Iron’ in 1972, partly for the same reason, to escape the violence of Belfast.

We both grew up in a divided society where Catholics and Protestants, especially in Belfast, rarely had close contact. Certain areas of the city were designated Catholic areas while others were Protestant areas. Catholic children went to Catholic schools and Protestant children went to Protestant schools. Mixed marriages were frowned on by both sections of the community and jobs were also clearly defined. In fact, one of the few places where Catholics and Protestants did mix was the Queen’s University of Belfast.

This paper intends to look at how living in Northern Ireland has affected Seamus Heaney’s poetry and how he has managed to come to terms with the difficult job of being a poet with such a complicated political backdrop.

Professor Patricia Trainor de la Cruz, Departamento de Filología Inglesa, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad de Málaga, Málaga, SPAIN

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Conceptual intertextuality: Marlene van Niekerk’s Agaat as an Afrikaans Big House novel.

In 2004, ten years after the appearance of her acclaimed work, Triomf, which Rob Nixon in the New York Times (7 March 2004) called ‘South Africa's only world-class tragicomic novel’, the Afrikaans novelist Marlene van Niekerk published a new novel entitled Agaat, to even greater acclaim than Triomf received. Critics hailed it as ‘astounding in design and reach’, as ‘a living monument for Afrikaans’. It is regarded by many as one of the greatest novels ever to have emerged from South Africa, on a par with the work of Coetzee and Gordimer.

While there is no indication that Marlene van Niekerk consciously referred to the Irish literary genre of the Big House novel in her novel Agaat, there are historical parallels between South Africa and Ireland as well as striking similarities between Van Niekerk’s novel and the work of Irish authors such Somerville & Ross, Elizabeth Bowen, Molly Keane and William Trevor, which compellingly invites a comparison. Employing the existing concepts and structures of the Big House novel makes it possible to explore interesting, even crucial aspects of Van Niekerk’s complex work.

Just like the Big House novel is closely associated with the Anglo-Irish Protestant Ascendancy that ruled Ireland for centuries until displaced and marginalized by the rise of a native Irish nationalism in the Twentieth Century, Agaat encompasses the history, culture and culpability of the Afrikaner people in South Africa, a group that likewise ruled the roost for centuries before being marginalized at the end of the last century by the triumph of native African nationalism. In the Irish novels, the “Big House” or the demesne becomes representative of the Ascendancy and its traditions within Irish history, but the historical and political are presented in terms of the personal and intimate. In Agaat the intimate history of the female dynasty of the farm “Grootmoedersdrift” and in particular the relationship of love and resentment, accusation and guilt between Milla and her ironical heiress, Agaat, are revealed, but this personal history likewise becomes representative of Afrikaner culture and ideology during the second half of the Twentieth Century.

While this paper therefore largely focuses on a non-Irish novel, it does so from within the framework of Irish literary history, drawing comparisons throughout with the work of the Irish writers mentioned above.

Professor Andries Wessels, University of Pretoria, SOUTH AFRICA

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“Tracing the Textual Web” of Oscar Wilde in a Chinese Context

In this paper I would like to discuss the impact of Oscar Wilde’s Salomé (1894) by studying its literary representations in selected Chinese works in the modern period, and by investigating the intertextual themes in relation to the socio-cultural and intellectual concerns of selected Chinese authors. 

The critical writings on Salomé will also be discussed to broaden our understanding of intertextual influence and modification. The Chinese works to be discussed reveal a rather different and non-decadent revision of this controversial play. Salomé, as received and understood in modern China, was a reaction against the didacticism in the traditional function of literature, and hence was embraced as an example of anti-feudalism and anti-asceticism. The heroine was given a new and fresh image that ironically became a positive icon in modern China. 

Salomé was given a non-decadent outlook and interpretation to suit the purposes of intellectuals such as Tian Han (1898-1968) who made use of this Wildean play to try to resolve the conflicting art impulses and social demands. Tian Han was attracted to other aspects besides the generally understood decadent aspects of the play. Though his plays may seem social, the subtext of Salomé lurks within them. It is by understanding this subtext that readers can better understand the nature of Wilde’s influence in a cross-cultural context. 

Associate Professor Linda Pui-ling Wong, English Department, Hong Kong Baptist University, HONG KONG

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The Tissue, Flesh and Blood of the Intertext in John Banville’s The Book of Evidence

Sidestepping The Book of Evidence’s obvious hypotext—the Macarthur murder in Dublin 1982—my paper seeks to explore another intertextual path. The killer Freddie Montgomery proclaims that ‘a strong mixture of Catholic and Calvinist blood’ courses in his veins (BE, 98). If the text is a tissue (Barthes) and flesh (Genesis), then blood too flows through it. Being expressive both of a negative force (violence, bloodshed) and a positive energy (the lineage of life), blood in The Book of Evidence is religious antagonism in the form of the two Christian undercurrents. In this way, blood marks an intersection of personal and national fate.

My paper endeavours to uncover this textual immanence by means of two heterogeneous theological texts (Calvin and Aquinas). My paper’s metatext will progressively surface and become explicit towards the end. This aspect of the paper will be exploring the limits of intertextual analysis in terms of focus. The pursuing of the intertext inevitably interferes with analytic sensitivity to the disclosure of Banville’s novel. This problem will be linked to the religious dissension concerning differences in Biblical exegesis (Calvinist and Catholic).

The paper emphasises the tissue and flesh of the text as its necessary ‘con-text’ while simultaneously performing a critique of overemphasis on ‘con-text’ at the expense of the primary text. My major contention is that there is a certain amount of violence stored in textuality as such. (Also subtly reflected in Banville’s text).

 Joakim Wrethed, Stockholm University, Stockholm, SWEDEN

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