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Beautiful Strangers

Ireland and the World of the 1950s


Edited By Gerald Dawe, Darryl Jones and Nora Pelizzari

This groundbreaking collection examines popular and literary culture in the 1950s through the lens of postwar Ireland. The 1950s are at once a site of cultural nostalgia and of vital relevance to twenty-first-century readers. The diverse essays collected here offer insight into the artistic effects of austerity on both creators and consumers of 1950s culture, examining cultural production in Britain and the United States as well as Ireland. The first book of its kind, it blends critical analysis with cultural memory of a unique time in the history of Irish literature and the broader world. From Samuel Beckett to Elvis Presley and Movement poetry to bestselling science fiction, this volume highlights the crucial role Ireland played in the growth of literary and popular culture throughout this fascinating decade and beyond.


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The papers contained within this volume originated as a series of lectures entitled ‘Reading the Fifties’ held at Trinity College Dublin in 2011. We would like to thank those who participated in the series, especially Sarah Patricia Brooks and Hannah Partis-Jennings for helping everything run smoothly. We would particularly like to thank our colleagues in the School of English, Trinity College Dublin for their enthusiasm and support. Special thanks are owed to the Trinity College Arts and Social Sciences Benefactions Fund for their generous assistance in funding the compila- tion of this book. The editors are indebted to Lilian Foley in the Oscar Wilde Centre for her support at every stage of the project and to Elizabeth McCarthy who created the eye-catching poster for the lecture series. Finally, many thanks to the editorial team at Peter Lang, especially Eamon Maher, Christabel Scaife and Isabel James.

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