The Irish Republic has faced a number of serious crises and challenges since it came into existence. In recent years, the collapse of the Celtic Tiger has acted as a catalyst for change, revealing various structures of political, religious and economic authority giving way under pressure. In Northern Ireland, the Good Friday Agreement has led to major developments as new authorities endowed with legislative and executive powers have been set up. In its focus on the subject of authority and crisis in Ireland, this book opens up a rich and varied field of investigation.
Nicholas Grene - Irish English as a Literary Language: Authority and Subversion
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Irish English as a Literary Language: Authority and Subversion
The literary use of Irish English is often seen as part of the postcolonial phenomenon of the empire writing back, marginalized dialects challenging the hegemony of the metropolitan forms of language. This paper explores a somewhat different if related pattern: the way the authority of standard forms of written English are subverted by an Irish oral demotic. Beginning with the ‘blarney’ of Dion Boucicault’s comic heroes, it is concerned with orality in the language of Synge and Joyce at the period of the Revival, and goes on to consider the very different later practice of Roddy Doyle and Seamus Heaney. In each case it can be argued that the subversion of the authority of correct print forms is a claim instead for the authority of the literary.
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