Dublin, Dirt and Literature
As well as delineating the characteristics of Dublin slum literature as a genre, the book challenges general assumptions about the Literary Revival as a mainly rural movement and discusses representations of slums in a variety of texts by «Alpha and Omega», James Connolly, Fannie Gallaher, May Laffan, Seumas O’Sullivan, Frederick Ryan, James Stephens, Katharine Tynan and many others. In addition, it reassesses W. B. Yeats’s and James Joyce’s literary genealogy in the context of the urban literary-historical discourse and analyses the impact of slums on their writing strategies. This work will be essential reading for scholars and students of Irish literature and cultural history.
Table Of Contents
- About the author
- About the book
- This eBook can be cited
- Chapter 1: Dublin Slums: History, Discourse, and Theoretical Considerations
- Chapter 2: Pre-Revivalist Dublin Slum Fiction and Modernism
- Chapter 3: Yeats, Urbanity, and the Slums
- Chapter 4: Urban Revivalism
- Chapter 5: Joyce and the Slums
- Chapter 6: Outlook: Writing Slums and Beyond
- Series Index
Dublin, Dirt and Literature
Oxford • Bern • Berlin • Bruxelles • New York • Wien
Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek.
Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche National-bibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available on the Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de.
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
Library of Congress Control Number: 2018938050
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Beese, Nils, 1984- author.
Title: Writing slums : Dublin, dirt and literature / Nils Beese.
Description: Oxford ; New York : Peter Lang, 2018. | Series: Reimagining Ireland ; 86 | Includes bibliographical references and index.
Identifiers: LCCN 2018002447 | ISBN 9781787079595 (alk. paper)
Subjects: LCSH: Slums in literature. | English literature--Irish
authors--History and criticism. | English literature--19th
century--History and criticism. | English literature--20th
century--History and criticism. | Dublin (Ireland)--In literature.
Classification: LCC PR8722.S58 B44 2018 | DDC 820.9/35841835--dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2018002447
ISBN 978-1-78707-959-5 (print) • ISBN 978-1-78707-960-1 (ePDF)
ISBN 978-1-78707-961-8 (ePub) • ISBN 978-1-78707-962-5 (mobi)
Cover image: The Last Hour of the Night by Harry Clarke (1889–1931). Published under a CC0 license.
Cover design by Peter Lang Ltd.
© Peter Lang AG 2018
Published by Peter Lang Ltd, International Academic Publishers,
52 St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LU, United Kingdom
Nils Beese has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as Author of this Work.
All rights reserved.
All parts of this publication are protected by copyright.
Any utilisation outside the strict limits of the copyright law, without the permission of the publisher, is forbidden and liable to prosecution. This applies in particular to reproductions, translations, microfilming, and storage and processing in electronic retrieval systems.
This publication has been peer reviewed.
Nils Beese completed his PhD in Irish literature at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. He also holds master’s degrees from the University of Rochester, New York, and from Trinity College Dublin.
About the book
Dublin’s slums were once considered the worst in Europe. The city’s tenements were omnipresent and their inhabitants were plagued by poverty. Illuminating the intricate relationship between the ‘dirty’ cityscape and Dublin literature from 1880 to 1920, this seminal book offers new socio-historical, cultural and political insights into one of the most interesting periods of Irish literature and history.
As well as delineating the characteristics of Dublin slum literature as a genre, the book challenges general assumptions about the Literary Revival as a mainly rural movement and discusses representations of slums in a variety of texts by ‘Alpha and Omega’, James Connolly, Fannie Gallaher, May Laffan, Seumas O’Sullivan, Frederick Ryan, James Stephens, Katharine Tynan and many others. In addition, it reassesses W. B. Yeats’s and James Joyce’s literary genealogy in the context of the urban literary-historical discourse and analyses the impact of slums on their writing strategies. This work will be essential reading for scholars and students of Irish literature and cultural history.
This eBook can be cited
This edition of the eBook can be cited. To enable this we have marked the start and end of a page. In cases where a word straddles a page break, the marker is placed inside the word at exactly the same position as in the physical book. This means that occasionally a word might be bifurcated by this marker.
Dublin Slums: History, Discourse, and Theoretical Considerations
Pre-Revivalist Dublin Slum Fiction and Modernism
Yeats, Urbanity, and the Slums
Outlook: Writing Slums and Beyond
Index←vii | viii→ ←viii | ix→
The idea for this book developed from the general observation that there is a lot of dirt mentioned in Irish literature. Swift, Joyce, Beckett: They all seem to fuel their literary creativity by constructing meaning through using forms of waste matter in their writing. I found this highly fascinating, yet also elusive, as cultural anthropologists point to the fact that dirt is first and foremost matter. Only due to socio-cultural, historical or other perceptions and circumstances, it transforms into what Mary Douglas famously called ‘matter out of place’. From that moment on I realised that I would have to focus on a place that is often equated with dirt: the slums.
The shaping of crucial ideas in this book would have never developed as they have done without the invaluable thought-provoking discussions during the interdisciplinary colloquia of the Graduate Class of Literature (ProLit) at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany. I cannot thank the professors and my fellow PhD students involved enough. My greatest expression of gratitude goes to Professor Dr Tobias Döring and to Professor Dr Hans Walter Gabler. Professor Döring provided me with constant support and analytically stimulating, prompt as well as fair feedback on my manuscript. Professor Gabler not only saved the day of my final disputation by spontaneously volunteering to stand in for a sick examiner (thank you once again very much!), but also provided invaluable comments from his plethora of Joycean knowledge throughout the course of my study. I wish to thank Professor Dr Inka Mülder-Bach for her suggestion to include Bakhtin’s concept of heteroglossia in my theoretical framework, Professor Dr Cornelia Ortlieb and Professor Dr Annette Keck for their constructive criticism and advice on my work and Professor Dr Bernhard Teuber for his academic enthusiasm. I am very much indebted to the ProLit programme coordinator, Dr Markus Wiefarn, who was always very supportive and provided a structure that made my years of study in ProLit extremely enjoyable. Special thanks go to Dr Tom Reiss and Dr Nadine Feßler. Tom’s cheerful nature and our common admiration for←ix | x→ The School of Venus and Nadine’s exceptional kindness to critically assess my manuscript mean a lot to me. I am also grateful to Kathleen Rabl for her scrupulous corrections and suggestions. A special thank you goes to the two anonymous reviewers of the manuscript, who provided additional, valuable comments.
Access to obscure or rare material was crucial for the analysis and I could not have conducted the scope of my research without the help of indulgent librarians. My thanks also goes to the Early Printed Books and Special Collections team of the Library of Trinity College Dublin, the team of Dublin City Archives, particularly the City Archivist, Dr Mary Clark. Thanks also goes to the Resource Delivery Librarian of the University of Notre Dame, Kenneth Kinslow, the library staff of the National Library of Ireland and of the Bavarian State Library. I would also like to thank the team of the Weihenstephan Library of the Technische Universität München in Freising, Germany, for offering the perfect atmosphere for research and for providing a fantastic service. Apologies again for the myriad of interlibrary loans, which you had to take care of.
I am also indebted to many people for their valuable research tips of various kinds. Thanks goes to Professor Dr Jacinta Prunty, Dr Donal Ó Drisceoil, Dr Gabriel Renggli, Dr James Quin, Professor Dr Mary Daly, Professor Dr Eve Patten, Fr. Bruce Bradley of Clongowes, Dr Sean Mannion and Dr Niall Carson. It is also important to point out a few of the people, who made lasting academic impressions on me during the last few years. By far the most inspiring was Professor Dr James Longenbach. I was deeply impressed by his contagious passion for Modernist literature after attending his classes. Professor Dr Colbert Kearney instilled my love of James Joyce by reciting his works time and time again. Professor Dr Nicholas Grene’s mixture of profound knowledge and calm presence greatly influenced me.
I also would like to thank the Bavarian State for accepting me into the programme of the Elite Network of Bavaria and funding me for two years.
Finally, and most importantly, I wish to warmly thank my family for their continuous support: My parents for providing me with the safe structure that allowed me to indulge in my studies, my grandparents for being absolute role models in their outlook on life, and my wife Emer for being entirely amazing … always!←x | xi→
CW Joyce, James. The Critical Writings. Eds Mason, Ellsworth and Richard Ellmann. New York NY: Viking, 1959.
D . Dubliners. London: Penguin, 1996.
FW . Finnegans Wake. London: Penguin, 1992.
P . A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. London: Penguin, 1992.
SH . Stephen Hero. London: Cape, 1944.
U . Ulysses. The Gabler Edition. New York NY: Vintage, 1986.←xi | xii→ ←xii | 1→
Dublin Slums: History, Discourse, and Theoretical Considerations
On 9 April 1885, the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, and his entourage visited the Dublin slums. His guide, the Dublin sanitary officer Sir Charles Cameron, writes about this curious event:
We went to Golden Lane, which was not far off [Dublin Castle]. Just as we stopped at a large tenement house a woman discharged into the channel course a quantity of water in which cabbage had been boiled and which contained fragments of leaves. In getting out of the carriage the Duke of Clarence unfortunately stepped into this fluid, slipped, and fell. He was much startled, and his coat and one glove were soiled. (C. Cameron, Reminiscences 106)
- ISBN (PDF)
- ISBN (ePUB)
- ISBN (MOBI)
- ISBN (Softcover)
- Publication date
- 2018 (November)
- Modern Irish literature Slums in literature Slum fiction Dublin
- Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2018, 324 pp.