Negotiating Cultural Identity Within and Beyond the Nation
Edited By James P. Byrne, Padraig Kirwan and Michael O'Sullivan
The book initiates this vital discussion by bringing together a series of provocative and thoughtful essays, from both renowned and rising international scholars, on the vicissitudes of cultural identity in a post-modern, post-colonial and post-national Ireland. By including work by leading scholars in the fields of film studies, migration and Diaspora studies, travel literature and gender studies, this collection offers a thorough twenty-first-century interrogation of Irishness and provides a timely fusion of international perspectives on Irish cultural identity.
Irishness and the Body: The Presence of the Body in the Debates on Poverty in the Early Nineteenth Century Anne-Catherine Lobo 57
Irishness and the Body: The Presence of the Body in the Debates on Poverty in the Early Nineteenth Century Anne-Catherine Lobo That was what we were taught – the lower classes smell. And here, obviously, you are at an impassable barrier. For no feeling of like or dislike is quite so fundamental as a physical feeling. Race-hatred, religious hatred, differences of education, of temperament, of intel- lect, even differences of moral code, can be got over; but physical repulsion cannot […] Very early in life you acquired the idea that there was something subtly repulsive about a working-class body; you would not get nearer to it than you could help. You watched a great sweaty navvy walking down the road with his pick over his shoulder; you looked at his discoloured shirt and his cordu- roy trousers stiff with the dirt of a decade; you thought of those nests and layers of greasy rags below, and, under all, the unwashed body, brown all over (that was how I used to imagine it), with its strong, bacon-like reek. You watched a tramp taking off his boots in a ditch – ugh! It did not seriously occur to you that the tramp might not enjoy having black feet. And even ‘lower class’ people whom you knew to be quite clean – servants, for instance – were faintly unappetizing. The smell of their sweat, the very texture of their skins, were mysteriously different from yours — George Orwell, The Road to Wigan Pier, 160 This is how, in 1937,...
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