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Redefinitions of Irish Identity

A Postnationalist Approach


Edited By Irene Gilsenan Nordin and Carmen Zamorano Llena

Recently, the issue of postnationalism has encouraged intense debate, which has been reflected in the publication of numerous books and articles in various fields of study, including politics, history, philosophy and anthropology. However, the work produced in Irish literary criticism has been much sparser. This collection of essays aims to fill this gap and provide new insights into the debate on postnationalism in Ireland from the perspective of narrative writing. The book collects thirteen essays by academics from various countries, including Ireland, the United States and Sweden. It analyses the concepts of the postnational and the postnationalist in relation to globalisation, as well as the debate that postnationalist discourse has opened in various fields of knowledge, and its definitions and implications in the contemporary Irish historical and literary context. The literary forms under consideration include essay writing, drama, fiction, autobiography, film and poetry. The authors whose work is analysed here include Dermot Bolger, Hubert Butler, Ciaran Carson, Brian Friel, Seamus Heaney, Marie Jones, Derek Mahon, Frank McGuinness, Robert McLiam Wilson, Conor McPherson, Sinéad Morrissey, Nuala O’Faolain and David Wheatley.


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Acknowledgements vii


Acknowledgements This collection of essays has been possible thanks to the support of a number of institutions, organisations and individuals. We would like to thank the Catalan Agency for Administration of University and Research Grants (AGAUR) for granting Carmen Zamorano Llena a two-year postdoctoral scholarship, which allowed her to pursue her research on postnationalist redefinitions of identity in contemporary Irish poetry and to prepare this collection in collaboration with Irene Gilsenan Nordin, Director of the Dalarna University Centre for Irish Studies (DUCIS), Sweden. We are also indebted to Dalarna University, Sweden, for their financial support, and to the staff of the English Department for their invaluable suggestions and motivating discussion when parts of this project were presented at depart- mental research seminars. We are grateful to Graham Speake of Peter Lang for his patience and support, and to Helen Chambers, the Series Editor, for her valuable advice. We would also like to thank Gallery Press for granting their permission to quote from David Wheatley’s Thirst (1997) and Misery Hill (2002), as well as from Justin Quinn’s Waves and Trees (2006). We are also grateful for permission from Carcanet Press Limited to quote from Moya Cannon’s Carrying the Songs (2007), Justin Quinn’s The O’o’a’a’ Bird (1995) and Sinéad Morrissey’s Between Here and There (2001). Thanks are due to the scholars who have contributed their thorough and challenging academic work to this project and made this collection possible. It has been the editors’ pleasure to collaborate with each one of them,...

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