The International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures
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 email@example.com 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.
Barber “Farset, Gomorrah and Kilburn: Reading Diasporic Queer
Identities and Irish painting in 1950s London”
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
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.
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.
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
Beatriz Kopschitz X. Bastos
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
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?
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.
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
James M. Cahalan
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.
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.
This paper will concentrate on the
critical reception of the six plays of John Millington Synge in Inis
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
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.
Joan FitzPatrick Dean, Department
of English, University
of Missouri-Kansas City,
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,
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
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).
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
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.
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.
the case of O’Casey, Doyle does not mention his
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.
Danine Farquharson, Assistant
Professor of Irish Literature,
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
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
Prof. Dr. Peter James Harris,
Universidade de São Paulo,
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.
contrast largely informs the interrogation of
Dr Rui Carvalho Homem, Faculdade de Letras, Universidade do
controversial figure, Roy Keane, the Manchester United footballer
and former captain of
Anthony Hughes, History
Department / Irish Studies,
September 1966 and June 1967 the American poet John Berryman (1914-72)
was living in
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’?
de Letras e Artes, Universidade
Estadual de Feira de Santana,
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.
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,
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.
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.
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
will try to clarify the connections between the two writers.
Professor Noriko Ito,
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.
paper will examine O’Brien’s use of the Faust myth to explicate the
political environment of 1940s
Assistant Professor Daniel Jernigan, Department of English, Nanyang Technological University,
spending eighteen months as a prisoner in the Western Australian penal
colony, Fenian John Boyle O'Reilly escaped to the
poetry lost much of its appeal after the first quarter of the twentieth
century. His frequently declamatory style, which he had adopted in
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.’
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
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.
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,
could be maintained that Christina Reid’s
Joyriders, set in the context of
Dr Wei H. Kao, Assistant Professor,
Department of Foreign Languages
1822 Frances Stewart immigrated to
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
‘The Quiet Man lives on.’ So asserts Museumsofmayo.com, 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
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
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
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.
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.
Patrick Lonergan, English
1896, W.B. Yeats famously advised John Millington Synge to ‘give up
1917, another copy of this book was carried to another island off
the Irish coast. It was taken to the
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,
works, and especially those of
Michael Stuart Lynch, Assistant
Professor of English Literature,
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.
concentrates on the work of Marina Carr in her adaptations of Greek
tragedy to contemporary
Dr Patricia A. Lynch, Department of Languages and Cultural Studies,
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.
Vivian Valvano Lynch,
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.
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.
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.
Edward Marx, Associate
Professor of Euro-American Culture, Faculty
of Law and Letters,
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.
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
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.
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
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).
Stephen McLaren, Humanities,
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
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?
John M. Menaghan, Department
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
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
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
Associate Professor Frank Molloy,
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.
Karen Marguerite Moloney, Professor
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.
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.
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
Associate Professor Neil Murphy, Acting Head Division of English, School of Humanities and Social Sciences,
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.
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?
Clíona Ní Ríordáin, Université
Paris 3-Sorbonne Nouvelle,
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
Recent Irish post-colonial critics have argued to establish
Jerry Nolan, Independent scholar, Chiswick,
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.
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.
Clíona Ó Gallchoir, Department
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.
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,
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,
Pamela O'Neill, Research
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.
Britta Olinder, English
J.M. Synge first arrived on the
intend in this paper to investigate the ways in which Synge’s writing
about his travels in the Aran Islands,
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.
Cóilín Parsons, Department
of English and Comparative Literature,
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
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’.
Mark Phelan Drama
1958 Arnold Wesker’s Chicken
Soup with Barley was produced by the Belgrade Theatre Company
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
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.
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
Emilie Pine, Department
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.
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
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.’
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.
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.
Shaun Richards, Irish
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.
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.
Marthine D. Satris,
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
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.
of an Anglo-Irish family, very much interested in
developed a taste for tales and an obsession for the passing of time
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.
also uses upper classes to try and get away from too “black-and-white”
images: the masters of
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,
opening scene of James Joyce’s Ulysses
is set in a strange-shaped building, the
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—
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,
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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,
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,
We both grew up in a divided society where Catholics
and Protestants, especially in
This paper intends to look at how living in
Patricia Trainor de la Cruz, Departamento
de Filología Inglesa, Facultad
de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad
de Málaga, Málaga,
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
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.
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.
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
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
Professor Linda Pui-ling Wong,
The Book of Evidence’s obvious
hypotext—the Macarthur murder in
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).
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