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Irish Modernism

Origins, Contexts, Publics


Edited By Edwina Keown and Carol Taaffe

This is the first interdisciplinary volume to present a sustained examination of the emergence, reception and legacy of modernism in Ireland. Engaging with the ongoing re-evaluation of regional and national modernisms, the essays collected here reveal both the importance of modernism to Ireland, and that of Ireland to modernism. Central concerns of the book include definitions of and critical contexts for an Irish modernism, issues of production, reception and the marketplace, new dialogues between literature and the visual arts in Ireland, modernism and Catholicism, and Irish modernism’s relationship with European and Anglo-American modernism. With contributions from established and emerging scholars in both Irish Studies and Modernist Studies, this collection introduces fresh perspectives on modern Irish culture that reflect new understandings of the contradictory and contested nature of modernism itself.


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Jean-Michel Rabaté Dublin, 1913: Irish Modernism and International Modernism 9


Jean-Michel Rabaté Dublin, 1913: Irish Modernism and International Modernism No sooner had I finished my book on 1913, The Cradle of Modernism, than myriads of files, issues and place-names cropped up in a veritable deluge of little facts dating from this one year; all the facts that I had forgot- ten to include were brought to me. I had no doubt that if I wanted to present a cultural chronicle of the emergence of novelty in 1913, I could not avoid selecting, which meant eliminating countries, authors and topics. For instance, when I saw the 2007 publication of Amy Dockser Marcus’s excellent Jerusalem 1913: The Origins of the Arab–Israeli Conflict, I regret- ted not having devoted at least a few paragraphs to the birth of Zionism and to the lineaments of a clash in Palestine between two communities, both of which saw in a new nationalism the only response to the dictatorial but crumbling rule of the Ottoman Empire. Moreover, this would have brought more grist to my mill, my major contention being that it was in 1913 that the world as we know it now was being ushered in. Thus, like a demented empiricist, I kept on collecting countless new data discovered after the publication, such as my encounter with George Loane Tucker’s 1913 film Traffic in Souls. Set in New York, this film, one of the first Ameri- can feature-length films (uncharacteristically, it lasts ninety minutes), sets out to expose the scandal of white slave traffic. The...

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