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Beyond Ireland

Encounters Across Cultures

Series:

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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Lene Yding Pedersen Cultural Images and Cross-Cultural Encounters in Colum McCann’s Zoli 159

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Lene Yding Pedersen Cultural Images and Cross-Cultural Encounters in Colum McCann’s Zoli This essay examines cultural images and cross-cultural encounters in and around Colum McCann’s novel Zoli (2006). It discusses cultural images and cross-cultural encounters as they are thematized in the novel, but it also discusses the cross-cultural context of the book. This essay therefore falls in two parts: the first one concerns the context of the novel, and what role the images of crossings of cultures play in relation to that; the second provides an analysis of some of the cultural images and cross-cultural encounters in the novel as they are thematized by the polyphonic narrative structures of the novel. Zoli may be said to be a cross-cultural encounter at dif ferent levels, and cultures are encountered and crossed in various manners. First, the novel is an example of fiction encountering history as its main character, the woman Zoli, is based on the Polish Romani poet Papusza, born around 1910. Second, the novel relies on encounters between tropes and images of ‘the Gypsy’ and lived experience. Third, the novel is an encounter between an Irish author and Romani culture in Slovakia. Finally, the novel is written in the early twenty-first century, and it is therefore an encounter between contemporary culture and the Second World War, and in particular the second half of the twentieth century. As the following discussion will demonstrate, these crossings and encounters (between fiction and reality, between images and experience, and between history and all of...

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