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‘Kicking Bishop Brennan Up the Arse’

Negotiating Texts and Contexts in Contemporary Irish Studies


Eugene O'Brien

This collection of essays reconsiders aspects of Irish studies through the medium of literary and cultural theory. The author looks at the negotiations between texts and their contexts and then analyses how the writer both reflects and transforms aspects of his or her cultural milieu. The essays examine literary texts by W. B. Yeats, Seamus Heaney, James Joyce and Sean Ó’Faoláin; media texts such as Father Ted, American Beauty and a series of Guinness advertisements; as well as cultural and political contexts such as globalisation, religion, the Provisional IRA and media treatment of murders in Ireland. The author also looks at aspects of the postcolonial and feminist paradigms and makes use of a theoretical matrix based on the work of Jacques Derrida and Jacques Lacan.


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Acknowledgements vii


Acknowledgements Versions of the chapters in this volume have appeared in the following books and journals: Chapter One: ‘Ireland in Theory: The Influence of French Theory on Irish Cultural and Societal Development’ in Ireland and France: The Anatomy of a Relationship, ed. Eamon Maher and Grace Neville (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2004). Chapter Two: ‘The Ethics of Translation: Seamus Heaney’s Cure at Troy’, Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, 2003, 27:2 and 28:1. Chapter Three: ‘The Body Politic: The Ethics of Responsibility and the Responsibility of Ethics in Seamus Heaney’s The Burial at Thebes’ in Inter- rogating Antigone: From Philosophy to Performance, ed. S. E. Wilmer and Audrone Zukauskaite (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming). Chapter Four: ‘“You Can Never Know Women”: Framing Female Identity in Dubliners’ in A New and Complex Sensation: Essays on Joyce’s Dubliners, ed. Oona Frawley (Dublin: Lilliput Press, 2005). Chapter Five: ‘The Return and Redefinition of the Repressed: Postcolonial Studies and “Eveline” in Dubliners’ in Joyce, Imperialism, and Postcolonial- ism, ed. Leonard Orr (New York: Syracuse University Press, 2008). Chapter Six: ‘“Inner Émigré(s)”: Derrida, Heaney, Yeats and the Haunto- logical Redefinition of Irishness’ in Engaging Modernity: Readings of Irish Politics, Culture and Literature at the Turn of the Century, ed. Michael Böss and Eamon Maher (Dublin: Veritas, 2003). viii Acknowledgements Chapter Seven: ‘“Kicking Bishop Brennan up the Arse ...”: Catholicism, Deconstruction and Postmodernity in Contemporary Irish Culture’ in Irish and Catholic? Towards an Understanding of Identity, ed. Louise Fuller, John Littleton and Eamon Maher (Dublin:...

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