By Professor Claire Connolly
Claire Connolly deals a cultural background of the Irish novel within the interval among the unconventional decade of the 1790s and the gaining of Catholic Emancipation in 1829. those a long time observed the emergence of a gaggle of gifted Irish writers who built and complex such leading edge kinds because the nationwide story and the historic novel: fictions that took eire as their subject and atmosphere and which frequently imagined its historical past through household plots that addressed wider problems with dispossession and inheritance. Their openness to modern politics, in addition to to fresh historiography, antiquarian scholarship, poetry, music, performs and memoirs, produced a chain of remarkable fictions; marked such a lot of all by way of their skill to type from those assets a brand new vocabulary of cultural identification. This ebook extends and enriches the present knowing of Irish Romanticism, mixing sympathetic textual research of the fiction with cautious historic contextualization.
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Extra resources for A Cultural History of the Irish Novel, 1790-1829
Melmoth the Wanderer thus makes commodities in their raw (or salted) state take precedence over the culture or the set of concepts that they might be taken to represent. The narrative ‘collects’ objects in Benjamin’s sense of the term: the food stuffs are arranged in relations of similarity but not made to stand in for any larger patterns of meaning. Such a focus finds its fullest expression in Irish fiction of the early twentieth century, most notably in James Joyce’s Dubliners. ) Here, though, the strong drive towards symbolic meaning pulls away from the particular detail: the reference to The Absentee itself draws Maturin’s novel into a dialogue with a literary tradition of representing national difference and ‘brings together what belongs together’.
In her comments, Gregory moves rapidly into a series of judgements – ‘patronising, artificial, taking a bird’s-eye view’ – which underpin her censure of Edgeworth’s approach. Such criticism of the Irish romantic novel 20 Fact and fiction 21 r everberates throughout the next hundred years and this book represents a concerted effort to dislodge it. The dichotomy between ‘the life of Ireland and the people of Ireland’ and the ‘chilly’ world of ‘Miss Edgeworth’s novels’ remains a powerful one, however.
It might similarly be argued that the relationship between the rise of the national tale and the passing of the Act of Union is a product of a new emphasis on national difference as expressed via objects. Where Brown analyses literary texts that emerge from the other side of the densely realised world of mid- to late nineteenth-century realism, however, the Irish novels discussed in this book were written before the proliferation of commodities in fiction and in advance also of the Victorian desire to penetrate to the truth of such objects.
A Cultural History of the Irish Novel, 1790-1829 by Professor Claire Connolly