Remembrance and Imagination: Patterns in the Historical and Literary Representation of Ireland in the Nineteenth Century

Remembrance and Imagination: Patterns in the Historical and Literary Representation of Ireland in the Nineteenth Century

by Joep Leerssen

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Overview

Remembrance and Imagination: Patterns in the Historical and Literary Representation of Ireland in the Nineteenth Century by Joep Leerssen

The nineteenth century witnessed the growth of Irish cultural nationalism as a dominant force in the country's political and literary life. Remembrance and Imagination is a major study which charts the development and impact of a national self-image through key texts and key episodes and does so by placing the history of two cultural spheres side by side: literature and historical scholarship. The literary and discursive work of writers like Lady Morgan, Maturin, Thomas Moore, Thomas Davis, Yeats and Synge is placed against the background of contemporary debates concerning the true historical and cultural identity of Ireland, while developments in the historical sciences are traced in their impact on the literary imagination. Special attention is given to the influential scholar George Petrie and to the far-ranging and persistent controversy concerning the round towers.

The Irish self-image in the nineteenth century attempted to formulate permanence, tradition, and continuity in the face of historical and political divisions and incoherence. The cultivation of a gloried past and of an idyllic peasantry are central preoccupations in Irish national thought. This book analyzes the discourse, rhetoric, stereotypes, and ingrained attitudes with which those preoccupations were invested, both in literature and historical scholarship. The book closes with a reinterpretation of the position of Synge and Joyce in repudiating the nineteenth-century schemata of representing Ireland.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781859181119
Publisher: Cork University Press
Publication date: 12/28/1996
Pages: 320

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix(1)
Abbreviations x
Introduction 1(7)
Around the Union: Patriotism into Nationalism
8(25)
The Burden of the Past: Romantic Ireland and Prose Fiction
33(35)
The Challenge of the Past: History and Antiquity
68(89)
The Presence of the Past: Peasantry, Community and Tradition
157(67)
Conclusion: How Time Passes in Joyce's Dublin 224(9)
Notes 233(57)
Bibliography 290(18)
Index 308

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