Show Less

Irish Women Writers

New Critical Perspectives

Series:

Edited By Elke D'hoker, Raphaël Ingelbien and Hedwig Schwall

After a decade in which women writers have gradually been given more recognition in the study of Irish literature, this collection proposes a reappraisal of Irish women’s writing by inviting dialogues with new or hitherto marginalised critical frameworks as well as with foreign and transnational literary traditions. Several essays explore how Irish women writers engaged with European themes and traditions through the genres of travel writing, the historical novel, the monologue and the fairy tale. Other contributions are concerned with the British context in which some texts were published and argue for the existence of Irish inflections of phenomena such as the New Woman, suffragism or vegetarianism. Further chapters emphasise the transnational character of Irish women’s writing by applying continental theory and French feminist thinking to various texts; in other chapters new developments in theory are applied to Irish texts for the first time. Casting the efforts of Irish women in a new light, the collection also includes explorations of the work of neglected or emerging authors who have remained comparatively ignored by Irish literary criticism.

Prices

Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Margaret Mills Harper

Extract

‘The Real Thing’: Body Parts and the Zero Institution in Ní Chuilleanáin’s Poetry The recent special issue of the Irish University Review dedicated to the work of Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin has a striking cover photograph (Fogarty 2007). From it, the poet herself looks directly at the reader from a frame of sunlit, cascading hair, which f lows in golden waves from her face and vies for attention with it. The lines of hair run parallel and seem related to leaf less, out-of-focus branches of the tree that makes up the background of the right half of the frame. It is an image of a repeated phenomenon in Ní Chuilleanáin’s poetry, namely, that a focus on a part of a human body, in physical immediacy, seems both full of meaning and at the same time utterly elusive of it. This phenomenon has significant implications for the subject associated with that body. Bodies tend to be described in poems as if they are irremediably and physically present, but they also tend to slide abruptly into what seems to be a realm of signification but one that does not perform the comfortable structuring functions that language usually provides. Thus, as one reads, what seems to be there turns out not to be absent but to be expressing something entirely dif ferent from presumed substance. This technique is similar to metaphor, and Ní Chuilleanáin often uses the language of metaphor at its points of occurrence, but figural language does...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.