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Beyond Ireland

Encounters Across Cultures


Edited By Hedda Friberg-Harnesk, Gerald Porter and Joakim Wrethed

This collection looks beyond Ireland metaphorically as well as geographically, moving beyond nationalism towards the culturally diverse, beyond a bilingual Ireland to a polyvocal one, beyond the imagined community towards a virtual one, beyond a territorial Ireland to an excentric one. The focus is on outsiders, ranging from Colm Tóibín’s subversion of establishment norms to Paul Muldoon’s immersion in Jewish discourse to John Banville’s extensions of the parameters of Irishness to the Lass of Aughrim finding a new role through her exclusion from the domestic hearth. The contributors to the volume work mainly with poetry and prose fiction, but genres such as autobiography, the essay and song lyrics are also represented.
The issues addressed all look ‘beyond Ireland’. In considering the creative frictions and fictions that result from the dissolving of old loyalties, these essays examine contested concepts such as ‘the nation’, and attempt to shed light on global forces that demand cultural re-definitions and transformations. The world order that let loose the Celtic Tiger has brought, together with a diversified Ireland, new forms of dependence. It is one of the main aims of this book to explore how Irish writers have regarded this diversification and contested that dependence.


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Åke Persson Recalibrating the Mind: Globalization, Viticulture, Wine-Tasting and Change in Kate O’Riordan’s The Memory Stones 53


Åke Persson Recalibrating the Mind: Globalization, Viticulture, Wine-Tasting and Change in Kate O’Riordan’s The Memory Stones Kate O’Riordan’s The Memory Stones (2003) largely focuses on four gen- erations of women and their physical and emotional relationship with each other. Gradually, by confronting what has shaped her life, Nell, the protagonist, comes to an understanding of herself and also of the other women and their lives, which transforms the relationship she has towards them. Thus, the novel is permeated with a strong sense of change. A world that had seemed closed down until then – in Nell’s relationship with her mother and daughter, but also more broadly with Ireland – becomes full of possibilities. The driving force in this change is Nell herself who, crucially in my reading, is a Master of Wine, a category described by Fritz Allhof f in Wine & Philosophy as ‘an extremely prestigious professional qualification’.1 Central to that position is an understanding both of how wine is made, that is, how the grapes have been af fected by the soil and the physical features of a region, among other things, and of how all the senses are involved in the tasting of a wine. This essay aims at exploring the ways in which viti- culture and wine-tasting operate as metaphors and tools in the unlocking of past tensions, pointing to a richer future. Nell’s wine-tasting sensibilities as well as her intimate knowledge of the concept of terroir – significantly a concept imported from France, where she has lived most of...

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