The Body and Desire in Contemporary Irish Poetry

Overview

The essays in this collection deal with contemporary Irish poetry and the question of the desiring body as a cultural and historical product, a biological entity and a psycho-sexual construction, and not least as an existential being. Drawing upon the literary theories of, among others, the French post-structuralists, the psychoanalytic theories of Lacan and Kristeva, the philosophies of Merleau-Ponty and Levinas, and feminist philosophers, such as Donna Haraway and Susan Bordo. The contributors explore how ...
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Overview

The essays in this collection deal with contemporary Irish poetry and the question of the desiring body as a cultural and historical product, a biological entity and a psycho-sexual construction, and not least as an existential being. Drawing upon the literary theories of, among others, the French post-structuralists, the psychoanalytic theories of Lacan and Kristeva, the philosophies of Merleau-Ponty and Levinas, and feminist philosophers, such as Donna Haraway and Susan Bordo. The contributors explore how contemporary Irish poets, both male and female, give expression to what might be termed a reassessment of material experience. With their various approaches they address the various ways in which the body can be seen as an agent of empowerment and change in the work of Eavan Boland, Ciaran Carson, Mary Dorcey, Seamus Heaney, Rita Ann Higgins, Thomas Kinsella, Michael Longley, Derek Mahon, Medbh McGuckian, Paula Meehan, John Montague, Paul Muldoon, Eilean Ni Chuilleanain and Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780716533696
  • Publisher: Irish Academic Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2006
  • Pages: 254
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : re-mapping the landscape : the body as agent of political, social and spiritual empowerment in contemporary Irish poetry 1
1 Abject state : waste and the exile of the body in northern Irish poetry 21
2 History's impasse : journey, haunt and trace in the poetry of Medbh McGuckian 40
3 Thomas Kinsella's 'local knowledge' 55
4 The body as ethical synecdoche in the writing of Seamus Heaney 79
5 'Words we can grow old and die in' : Earth mother and ageing mother in Eavan Bonald's poetry 103
6 'My being cries out to be incarnate' : the Virgin Mary and female sexuality in contemporary Irish women's poetry 123
7 'A song for every child I might have had' : infertility and maternal loss on contemporary Irish poetry 144
8 'Like a wished-for body' : dialogues of desire in the poetry of Medbh McGuckian 163
9 'Enough / is enough' : suffering and desire in the poetry of Thomas Kinsella 182
10 Medbh McGuckian and the poetics of mourning 197
11 Touch and go : Seamus Heaney and the transcendence of the aesthetic 213
12 'Betwixt and between' : the body as liminal threshold in the poetry of Eilean Ni Chuilleanain 226
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