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.
‘Ma Right Insane Yirwanny Us Jimmy?’: Irishness in Modern Scottish Writing Niall O’Gallagher 89
‘Ma Right Insane Yirwanny Us Jimmy?’: Irishness in Modern Scottish Writing 1 Niall O’Gallagher Thaw lived in the middle storey of a corporation tenement that was red sandstone in front and brick behind. The tenement backs enclosed a grassy area divided into greens by spiked railings, and each green had a midden. Gangs of midden-rakers from Blackhill crossed the canal to steal from the middens. He was told that Black- hill people were Catholics with beasts in their hair. One day two men came to the back greens with a machine that squirted blue flames and clouds of sparks. They cut the spikes from the railings with the flame, put them in a bag and took them away to use in the war. Mrs Gilchrist downstairs said angrily, ‘Now even the youngest of these Blackhill kids will be able to rake our middens.’ — Gray 1994, 122 I am going to begin this essay on Irishness in modern Scottish writing with quotations from two Irish writers: Colm Tóibín and the more recently arrived Irvine Welsh, Scottish by birth, but now residing in Dublin. My first extract comes from Tóibín’s book, The Sign of the Cross: Travels in Catholic Europe, in which the author relates an experience he has in Glasgow: In one of my early encounters in Glasgow I asked an innocent question. There is a new movement in Scottish writing, full of social engagement and formal energy. I could list ten or twelve Scottish writers,...
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