Gaelic Prose in the Irish Free State: 1922-1939

Hardcover (Print)


Gaelic Prose in the Irish Free State, 1922–1939 is a continuation of Philip O’Leary’s previous path-breaking book on the prose literature of the Gaelic Revival. The period following the War of Independence and Civil War saw an outpouring of book-length works in Irish from the state publishing agency An Gúm. The frequency and production of new plays, both original and translated, have never been approached since. O’Leary has investigated all of these works, as well as journalism and manuscript material, and discusses them in a lively and often humorous manner. Several writers known for their work in English, such as Liam O’Flaherty, Sean O’Faolain, and Frank O’Connor, who were either writing on occasion in Irish or engaging in debates within the Gaelic movement, emerge as important figures.

With the publication of Gaelic Prose in the Irish Free State, 1922–1939, we have at last an authoritative and balanced account of this major but neglected aspect of the Irish cultural renaissance. This will be an essential reference book for anyone interested in Irish literature in the twentieth century.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Libraries will want both of these splendid books.”

—E.M. Slotkin, Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271025230
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2010
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 753
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip O’Leary is Associate Professor in the Irish Studies program at Boston College and Co-General Editor of the Cambridge History of Irish Literature. His book The Prose Literature of the Gaelic Revival, 1881–1921: Ideology and Innovation (Penn State, 1994) was awarded the 1995 Donald Murphy Prize by the American Conference for Irish Studies.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix
Abbreviations xi
Introduction: A World Turned Rightside Up? 1
1 Maimed from the Start: Debates within the Gaelic Literary Movement in the New State 23
2 The Real and Better Ireland: Rural Life in Gaelic Prose 90
3 Bringing Mohammed to the Mountain: New Directions in Gaelic Prose 165
4 'Wellspring of Nationality': The Gaelic Writer and the Irish Past 245
5 'Rebuilding Tara in Our Mental World': The Gaelic Author and the Heroic Tradition 344
6 Flawed, Failed, Forgotten? The Question of Translation 376
7 'The Trail of the Serpent': The Gaelic Movement and Irish Literature in English 407
8 At the Cow's Rump or in the National Theatre? Issues in Gaelic Drama 458
9 Taking Stock, Taking Chances 504
Notes 522
Selected Bibliography 680
Biographies of Major Figures 711
Index 725
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