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Liminal Borderlands in Irish Literature and Culture


Edited By Irene Gilsenan Nordin and Elin Holmsten

Liminality, if interpreted as a concern with borders and states of in-betweenness, is a widespread theme in Irish literature and culture, which is perhaps not surprising considering the colonial and postcolonial background of Ireland. The liminal, from the Latin word limen, meaning «a threshold», can be broadly defined as a transitional place of becoming. It is a borderland state of ambiguity and indeterminacy, leading those who participate in the process to new perspectives and possibilities.
This collection of essays examines the theme of liminality in Irish literature and culture against the philosophical discourse of modernity and focuses on representations of liminality in contemporary Irish literature, art and film in a variety of contexts. The book is divided into four sections. The first part deals with theoretical aspects of liminal states. Other sections focus on liminal narratives and explore drama as liminal rites of passage, while the last part examines transformative spaces in contemporary Irish women’s poetry.


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Introduction: Borders and States of In-Betweenness in Irish Literature and Culture 7 Irene Gilsenan Nordin and Elin Holmsten Part I. Liminal States 1 Limning the Liminal, Thinking the Threshold: Irish Studies’ Approach to Theory 17 Michael G. O’Sullivan 2 Images of Migration in Irish Film: Thinking Inside the Box 35 Cheryl temple Herr Part II. Liminal Narratives 3 History in/of the Borderlands: Emily Lawless and the Story of Ireland 51 Heidi Hansson 4 “‘The Other’ that Moves and Misleads”: Mapping and Temporality in Éilís Ní Dhuibhne’s The Dancer’s Dancing 69 Susan Cahill Part III. Drama as Liminal Rites of Passage 5 Movement as Text, Text as Movement: The Choreographic Writing of Samuel Beckett 87 Lotta Palmerstierna Einarsson 6 Caught in the Liminal: Dorothy Cross’s Udder Series and Marina Carr’s By the Bog of Cats… 103 Róisín O’Gorman Part IV. Transformative Spaces in Contemporary Irish Women’s Poetry 7 Identity as Becoming: Polymorphic Female Identities in the Poetry of Boland, Meehan and Ní Dhomhnaill 131 Katarzyna Poloczek 8 “So Much Psychic Land […] to Reclaim”: Otherworldly Encounters in Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill’s Poetry 151 Michaela Schrage-Früh 9 The (Translato)logic of Spectrality: Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Her English Doubles 173 Maryna Romanets Contributors 197 Index 201

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