Contacts and Comparisons in History and Culture
Edited By Gerald Power and Ondrej Pilny
Gerald Power and Ondřej Pilný Ireland and the Czech Lands: An Introduction
The present volume is the first book-length study dedicated to Irish-Czech connections and comparisons from early modern times to the present day. As such, it attempts to highlight some of the more important periods of contact and cultural exchange, to establish some interesting parallels and to suggest areas for further investigation. In other words, what our book has to of fer is, metaphorically speaking, a series of maps of several significant historical episodes and areas of cultural production, ranging from initial attempts at charting new perspectives and areas of study, to panoramic surveys of more established research fields. The sheer scope of the period addressed makes it impossible for the following essays to provide a comprehensive coverage. Moreover, the spe- cific focus is determined by the expertise available on the one hand, and by the decision of the editors not to reprint material which has already been published.1 A principal task of this introduction thus must be to establish the overall context of the individual studies. First, there is the question of nomenclature pertaining to the respec- tive territories. Ostensibly, terms like ‘Ireland’ and ‘Irish’ present little dif ficulty. However, like many modern states constructed on what some scholars have identified as an ‘imagined’ national community,2 a myriad of simplifications and omissions are contained in both noun and adjective. 1 A detailed online bibliography on Czech-Irish relations compiled by Daniel Samek, which also lists Czech (and some Slovak) translations of Irish writing, is available on the website of the...
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