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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- English: Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, New York, Wien, 2018. VIII, 266 pp., 1 fig. col., 29 fig. b/w.
- About the author(s)/editor(s)
- About the book
- This eBook can be cited
- Introduction: Humour and Irreverence as Subversive Weapons in Irish Culture (Agnès Maillot)
- Part I: Satire in the Media
- 1 From Belfast to Jerusalem via Rio de Janeiro: Imaginary Geographies and Anti-Imperialism in Carlos Latuff ’s Political Cartoons (Marie-Violaine Louvet)
- From Rio de Janeiro to Belfast: Latu and Imaginary Geographies
- Sympathy for Irish Nationalists and Republicans
- Republicans and Palestine
- Latuff’s Collaboration with Irish Pro-Palestinian Associations
- Irish Ship to Gaza
- Latuff’s Subversive Views
- 2 ‘The Long and the Short of it All’: De Valera, Seán T. O’Kelly and Dublin Opinion (Felix Larkin)
- 3 Humour, Satire & Counter-Discourse around Ireland’s 2015 Marriage Referendum Online: An Analysis of #marref (Dónal Mulligan)
- Twitter, Political Discourse, and the Case of Ireland
- #marref: The 2015 Marriage Referendum Discourse
- Satire, Parody, and Humour in the #marref Discourse
- Examples of Highly-Shared Satirical and Parodic Content
- Part II: An Alternative Ulster
- 4 Rather Sex than Pistols: Good Vibrations and the Punk Scene in Northern Ireland (Agnès Maillot)
- Northern Ireland Punk
- Good Vibrations as a Comedy of (Ill) Manners
- 5 Just Books: An Alternative Bookstore in Belfast (Fabrice Mourlon)
- Alternative Research Practices?
- Just Books, an Alternative Bookshop in Belfast
- 6 Seán Hillen’s Troubles: A Long-Censored Satire of the Conflict (Valérie Morisson)
- Disjointing the Real
- A Critical De-Realisation of the Con€ict
- Vilišed Irreverence: Satire and Dissent
- 7 ‘A Remnant in the Land’: The Ulster Scot, Writing and Resistance (Wesley Hutchinson)
- Religion and Resistance: The Example of Alexander Peden
- Economic and Social Resistance
- Political Resistance
- Part III: Parody and Irreverence in Irish Literature
- 8 ‘Bringing the Big House Down’: Molly Keane and the Tradition of Irish Satire (Sylvie Mikowski)
- 9 From Ireland, with Irreverence: The ‘Fierce Indignation’ of Jonathan Swift and Paul Durcan (Anne Goarzin)
- A Network of Evidence: Sick Bodies, Sick Solutions
- What Bodies Stand For: Important Matters
- 10 Deconstructing and Reconstructing Irish Folklore: The Irreverent Parody of An Béal Bocht (Vito Carrassi)
- Folklore and Authenticity
- Flann O’Brien and Irish folklore
- Chapter 4 of An Béal Bocht
- Between Deconstruction and Reconstruction
- 11 Seán Ó Faoláin and De Valera’s ‘Dreary Eden’ (François Sablayrolles)
- Writing as Resistance: An Embittered Young Man Doing Battle with the Censor
- Ó Faoláin’s Interest in History and Theses
- Splitting the Critics: Trenchant Reactions to Ó Faoláin’s Work
- Resistance through the ‘Discourse “of” the Method’
- Part IV: Performing Irreverence
- 12 Once more with Feeling: Restaging History in the Work of Gerald MacNamara (Eugene Mcnulty)
- Joking Aside
- Play It Again Suzanne
- 13 Mr Emmet will never have an Epitaph: Brian Friel’s The Mundy Scheme (Maria Gaviña Costero)
- The Island of Eternal Rest
- The Play’s Universality
- 14 Violence and the Catharsis of Beyond the Grave Counter-Discourse in the Theatre of Brian Friel (Virginie Roche-Tiengo)
- Manuscripts Consulted
- Notes on Contributors
- Series index
2 ‘The Long and the Short of it All’: De Valera, Seán T. O’Kelly and Dublin Opinion (Felix Larkin)
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2 ‘The Long and the Short of it All’: De Valera, Seán T. O’Kelly and Dublin Opinion
Most cartoonists actually enjoy the thought that they might be upsetting the odd person through their drawings. Perversely, we still see it as our mission to ‘twist a few tails’, as a former editor of the Irish Times was fond of saying.
— MARTYN TURNER (2012)1
The phrase ‘twist a few tails’ captures much of the essence of the concept of ‘irreverence’ – the theme of this volume – and Dublin Opinion, Ireland’s most celebrated satirical magazine, was an exemplar of irreverence in its ability to ‘twist a few tails’ in the newly-independent Irish state. It epitomised Aristotle’s definition of wit as ‘educated insolence [pepaidumenē hubris]’.2 Of the many public figures who fell victim to its sallies, Éamon de Valera and his long-time deputy, Seán T. O’Kelly, are the foremost – partly because they were among the most prominent figures in Irish life during the period when Dublin Opinion flourished, but also because both gave in word and deed many hostages to fortune which the magazine was not slow to exploit.
Dublin Opinion first appeared in March 1922, in the middle of what has been termed the ‘cold civil war’, the hiatus between the signing of the ← 37 | 38 → Anglo-Irish Treaty the previous December and the start of the actual civil war with the bombardment of the Four...
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