Studies in Literature and Culture
Edited By Carmen Zamorano Llena and Billy Gray
Carmen Zamorano Llena And Billy Gray - Introduction: Versions of Authority and Wisdom in the New Ireland
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CARMEN ZAMORANO LLENA AND BILLY GRAY
Introduction: Versions of Authority and Wisdom in the New Ireland
The citizen who resists the counsel of wisdom […] ought never to have any kind of authority entrusted to him.
— Plato’s Laws, quoted in DANIEL N. ROBINSON, Wisdom: Its Nature, Origins, and Development (1990: 14)
‘New Ireland’ is a recurrent phrase in Irish history which often signals hopes for the construction of a new country emerging out of difficult historical circumstances. This was the case in the new Ireland of the turn of the twentieth century, after a long era of British rule and colonialism, or the new Ireland that followed the struggle for national independence. The phrase was also used in the controversial New Ireland Forum and, more recently, in references to the now defunct phenomenon of the Celtic Tiger. In the latter case, the phrase was often used to denote a pervasive sense of national optimism about the future, a discourse which countered the memories of the dismal past which the country was trying to overcome. A case in point is one of its latest usages by cultural critic Fintan O’Toole in his book Enough Is Enough (2010). Following on from his dissection of the causes for the downfall of Celtic Tiger Ireland in his much celebrated Ship of Fools (2009), this book aims to look into the future by presenting O’Toole’s polemical views on the requirements of building a ‘new republic’...
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