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Non-Violent Resistance

Irreverence in Irish Culture


Edited By Agnès Maillot, Jennifer Bruen and Jean-Philippe Imbert

Humour, by its very nature controversial, plays an important role in social interaction. With its power to question assumptions, it can be used a weapon of subversion, and its meaning and interpretation are embedded within the culture that generates them in complex ways. The scrutiny of Irish culture through the lens of humour is highly revealing, contributing to an alternative, and sometimes irreverent, reading of events. As John Updike wrote of Raymond Queneau’s witty re-imagining of the Easter Rising, humour can effectively expose «casual ambivalence».

This volume investigates the many ways in which writers, playwrights, politicians, historians, filmmakers, artists and activists have used irreverence and humour to look at aspects of Irish culture and explore the contradictions and shortcomings of the society in which they live.

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Notes on Contributors


VITO CARRASSI holds a PhD in Literary Sciences (Modern Comparative Literatures), has lectured on Folkloristics at the University of Bari, and is currently Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Basilicata. His research focuses particularly on the intersection and interference between folklore and literature, on the history and theory of folk narrative genres, on folk revival/ism, and on ritual and popular traditions, topics about which he has written several essays and articles. His main work, The Irish Fairy Tale: A Narrative Tradition from the Middle Ages to Yeats and Stephens, has been translated and published in English. He is also a translator of historical, anthropological, and sociological monographs, as well as an author of narrative works.

MARIA GAVIÑA COSTERO is Lecturer in the English Department of the Universitat de València, where she completed her PhD on the dramatic oeuvre of Brian Friel. Her main research interests include contemporary Irish drama from a post-colonial perspective, the relationship between literature and conflict, and theatre reception. She has published several scholarly articles, both in Spanish and in English, on contemporary Northern Irish theatre and its reception in Spain, including in Critical Explorations in Literature and Film and Words of Crisis, Crisis of Words: Ireland and the Representation of Critical Times. In 2011, she published Érase una vez Ballybeg: la obra dramática de Brian Friel y su recepción en España, in which the playwright is introduced to the Spanish audience.


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