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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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Carmen Zamorano Llena Multiculturalism and the Dark Underbelly of the Celtic Tiger: Redefinitions of Irishness in Contemporary Ireland 85


Carmen Zamorano Llena Multiculturalism and the Dark Underbelly of the Celtic Tiger: Redefinitions of Irishness in Contemporary Ireland Oh my body, make me always a man who questions — Frantz Fanon, Black Skins, White Masks1 In their book Writing Ireland: Colonialism, Nationalism and Culture (1988), David Cairns and Shaun Richards open the first chapter entitled ‘What ish my Nation?’ by defining the departure point of their study and of the Irish nationalist project. Noting how Edward Said has commented on how ‘[b]eginnings have to be made for each project in such a way as to enable what follows from them’,2 Cairns and Richards argue that ‘our beginning lies with the reality of the historic relationship of Ireland with England; a relationship of the colonized and the colonizer’.3 This colonial relationship was the background against which Irish nationalist ideology constructed a sense of the Irish nation at the end of the nineteenth century, and which has shaped the Northern Irish conf lict well into the twenty-first century. The sense of Irishness defined by the nationalist discourse was based on the binary opposition ‘them/us’. After centuries in which colonial ideology defined the Irish as the inferior ‘other’, Ireland needed to begin its nation- building project by constructing an idealized, unified, and homogeneous 1 Frantz Fanon, Black Skins, White Masks (London: Pluto, 1991), 232. 2 Edward Said, Orientalism (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985), 16. 3 David Cairns, and Shaun Richards, Writing Ireland: Colonialism, Nationalism and Culture (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1988), 1. 86...

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