Irish Myth, Lore and Legend on Film


Duncan, Dawn

Irish Myth, Lore and Legend on Film

 Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2013. X, 171 pp.

Reimagining Ireland. Vol. 27
Edited by Eamon Maher

Softcover: ISBN 978-3-0343-0140-4

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eBook: ISBN 978-3-0353-0412-1
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This book examines film versions of Irish myth, lore, and legend, concentrating particularly on stories which encompass the life journey of the hero, as proposed by Carl Jung and adapted by Joseph Campbell. After establishing the usefulness of film as cultural critique, the author provides intertextual and comparative readings of a number of films which follow a hero’s journey. The stages of this journey include the child’s struggle to achieve identity and become a responsible member of the community, the adult’s ability to move beyond the self and fall in love with another, and the community member’s willingness to sacrifice self in the service of Ireland. In addition, the study examines the lore of matchmaking and the communal uses of legend creation, as well as providing an ironic reading of the heroic journey through an exploration of the contemporary anti-hero. The films analysed include Into the West, The Secret of Roan Inish, In America, The Quiet Man, The Matchmaker, Michael Collins, The Wind That Shakes the Barley, Veronica Guerin, and In Bruges.

Irish Images on Film and the Hero Journey: A Theoretical Introduction – Childhood and the Magic of Myth: Into the West, The Secret of Roan Inish, and In America – Falling in Love and the Lore of Matchmaking: The Quiet Man and The Matchmaker Serving Society and the Legend of the Rebel: Michael Collins and The Wind That Shakes the Barley – The Journey of the Contemporary Anti-Hero: Veronica Guerin and In Bruges.

Dawn Duncan is Professor of English at Concordia College-Moorhead, Minnesota, USA, where she also teaches in the interdisciplinary Global Studies and Film Studies programs. She serves as the Executive Secretary of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures. In addition to numerous essays on Irish drama, fiction, and film, she is the author of two books: Postcolonial Theory in Irish Drama from 1800-2000 and The Service-Learning Companion.


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