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Authority and Wisdom in the New Ireland

Studies in Literature and Culture


Carmen Zamorano Llena and Billy Gray

Since the end of the nineteenth century, Ireland has witnessed a profound reconfiguration of its cultural, political, constitutional and religious identities, resulting in an unparalleled questioning of the dominant discourses and narratives that have seemingly defined the nation. The essays in this collection examine the ways in which established Irish socio-cultural structures of authority and their constructs of collective identity have been challenged within literary and cultural discourses of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Every challenge to the purported wisdom of these authority structures adds a new facet to the complexity of Irish national identity and contributes to the continuous evolution of the ‘New Ireland’, a phrase often used to signify the momentous transformations of the country in times of change.
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The Editors would sincerely like to thank a number of institutions and individuals that have made this collection possible. We are indebted to Dalarna University for their financial support. We are grateful to Christabel Scaife of Peter Lang for her patience and support, and to Eamon Maher, the Series Editor, for his valuable advice.

We are also thankful to The Gallery Press and the Estate of Michael Hartnett for their kind permission to use the Michael Hartnett quotations.

Thanks are also due to each and every one of the contributors, who with their expertise and challenging academic work have made this collection possible. It has been the Editors’ pleasure to work with each one of them and to learn from their insightful analyses of authority and wisdom in the New Ireland from a literary and cultural perspective.

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