After Yeats and Joyce: Reading Modern Irish Literature

Synopsis

Irish literature after Yeats and Joyce, from the 1920s onwards, includes texts which have been the subject of much contention. For a start how should Irish literature be defined: as works which have been written in Irish or as works written in Englsih by the Irish? It is a period in which ideas of Ireland--of people, community, and nation--have been both created and reflected, and in which conceptions of a distinct Irish identity have been articulated, defended, and challenged; a period which has its origins in a time of intense political turmoil. `after Yeats and Joyce' also suggests the immense influence of these two writers on the style, stances, and preoccupations of twentieth-century Irish literature. Neil Corcoran focuses his chapter on various themes such as `the Big House', the rural and provincial, with reference to authors from Kinsella and Beckett to William Trevor, Seamus Heaney, and Mary Lavin, providing a lucid and far-reaching introduction to modern Irish writing.