A course that surveys Irish Literature since the 19th century and includes poetry, drama, and fiction. It focuses upon the political turmoil preceding and following the War of independence as well as debates concerning the ideological operations of literature. Some authors covered may be, Yeats, Joyce, Beckett, OâBrien, Bowen, Heaney and Boland.
ENGL 366: 20TH CENTURY IRISH LITERATURE
Dr. Lamos / MWF 9 - 9:50
What makes Irish literature unique? Its rich Celtic culture, its painful colonial past, its violent “Troubles,” its present-day success—Ireland’s national story is as vivid as its literature. Although considered a poor backwater of Great Britain, Ireland produced some of the greatest modern writers in English, such as James Joyce, W. B. Yeats, and Samuel Beckett. It still does, as we see in the writings of Seamus Heaney, Eavan Boland, and Paul Muldoon. It boasts the finest queer writers in Emma Donoghue and Colm Toibin.
Our course begins with the Irish Literary Revival, that explosion of poetry and plays in the early Twentieth Century which coincided with the struggle for national independence, and continues to the second literary revival at the end of the century, when Irish poets, playwrights, novelists, and film makers produced such works as The Crying Game and The Testament of Mary.
If the luck of the Irish lies in their misfortunes, their literature is enriched by wrenching religious conflicts, historically between Catholic and Protestant, but recently within Catholicism as the abuse of women and children is exposed. Our course addresses the role of shame as a cultural affect: the political shame of colonization as well as the sexual shame enforced and leveraged by the church. Requirements are two 10-page essays and ten 1-page analyses.