Show Less
Restricted access

Echoes of the Rebellion

The Year 1798 in Twentieth-Century Irish Fiction and Drama


Radvan Markus

The 1798 Rebellion, a watershed event in Irish history, has been a source of both inspiration and controversy over the last two centuries and continues to provoke debate up to the present day. The ongoing discussion about the meaning of the Rebellion has not been limited to history books, but has also found vivid expression in Irish fiction and theatre.
The product of extensive research, this study provides a comprehensive survey of historical novels and plays published on the topic throughout the twentieth century, comparing them with relevant historiography. It draws attention to a number of outstanding but often neglected literary works, bringing together materials written in both English and Irish. Employing important theoretical concepts such as Derrida’s ‘spectre’ and Hayden White’s tropological view of history, the book probes the relationship between historiography and fiction to shed light on their interplay in the Irish context, including the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland. This investigation illuminates a number of broader questions, including the most pressing of all: in what way should we deal with the ‘spectres’ of the past and their complex legacies?
Radvan Markus teaches the Irish language and lectures on Irish literature at Charles University in Prague and Palacký University in Olomouc, Czech Republic. He has published articles on literary depictions of 1798 and Irish-language prose of the twentieth century and is co-editor of The Politics of Irish Writing (2010), Boundary Crossings (2012) and Tradition and Modernity (2014). His translations from Irish to Czech include Eoghan Ó Tuairisc’s L’Attaque and a collection of short stories by Pádraic Ó Conaire. He is working on an annotated Czech edition of Máirtín Ó Cadhain’s Cré na Cille.