Yearbook of English Studies

Journal providing articles and reviews on language and literature for English-speaking world.

Articles from Vol. 35, Annual

'A Brief Glow in the Dark': Samuel Beckett's Presence in Modern Irish Poetry
One definition of 'Irish' that I liked a lot was Samuel Beckett's. When he was interviewed by a French journalist, the journalist said: 'Vous etes Anglais, Monsieur Beckett?'. To which Beckett replied: 'Au contraire'. (Seamus Heaney) (1) In 1982,...
'Altering the Past': Northern Irish Poetry and Modern Canons
This essay is a slightly edited version of an address given at a conference--'Northern Irish Poetry since 1960: The Resilient Voice'--in the Institute of English Studies, University of London (February 2003). The fact that 'Voice' seemed to be a collective...
Considering Classroom Communities: Ciaran Carson and Paul Muldoon
What is the relationship between the poet and his or her community? What is the poet's responsibility, if any, to that community? How are the events, cultures, or teachings of the community translated by the poet as he or she seeks to connect the poetry...
Eavan Boland and the Politics of Authority in Irish Poetry
The defining preoccupation and principle of Eavan Boland's work is the symbiosis of material and form, or as she puts it, 'the whole field of how experience and expression influence each other in art'. (1) This essay draws on her poetry and prose to...
Frank McGuinness and the Sons of Ulster
The ferocity of the Irish Republican Army's bombing campaign in the 1970s and 1980s led many Irish nationalists to reexamine their commitment. Most were horrified at the thought that such deeds could be perpetrated in their name. Calls for the abandonment...
'Friendship's Garland' and the Manuscripts of Seamus Heaney's 'Fosterage'
1. The Poem as Process The directors of Special Collections and Archives at Robert W. Woodruff Library (Emory University) have made a number of important acquisitions in recent years in the field of contemporary poetry, including the papers of postwar...
From Inis Fraoigh to Innisfree ... and Back Again? Sense of Place in Poetry in Irish since 1950
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there of clay and wattles made. Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee, And live alone in the bee-loud glade. (1) Many generations of Irish schoolchildren...
Ireland in Two Minds: Martin McDonagh and Conor McPherson
It has been an extraordinary double phenomenon, the nearly simultaneous rise and rise of Martin McDonagh and Conor McPherson. McDonagh's first play, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, was produced by Druid Theatre Company in association with the Royal Court...
Irish Studies and the Adequacy of Theory: The Case of Brian Friel
Literary theory arrived centre stage in Irish Studies at the 1985 IASAIL (1) conference on 'Critical Approaches to Anglo-Irish Literature' at Queen's University Belfast. Theory, however, was already in the air. Delegates at the previous IASAIL conference...
Marvellous Fathers in the Fiction of John McGahern
John McGahern's fiction focuses on rural Ireland in the middle of the twentieth century and captures the torpor with which that period is popularly associated. J. J. Lee has referred to 'the fetid atmosphere of the forties and fifties [with its] sense...
'Not a Son but a Survivor': Beckett ... Joyce ... Banville
When discussing John Banville and the Irish tradition one is inescapably reminded of Freddie Montgomery's warning in The Book of Evidence: 'I must go carefully, this is perilous ground.' (1) Critics have often quoted a statement made in one of Banville's...
Seamus Deane: Between Burke and Adorno
At a seminar on his work at NUI Maynooth in early 2003, Seamus Deane, in response to a question from Joe Cleary, suggested that he reckoned his most important intellectual influences to have been Edmund Burke and Theodor Adorno. This essay will try...
Strategies of Silence: Colonial Strains in Short Stories of the Troubles
I Focusing on examples from the Troubles in Northern Ireland, this essay argues that the short story form both reflects the problems of articulation and representation within that fractious political situation and, with its characteristically wry,...
'The Best Banned in the Land': Censorship and Irish Writing since 1950
The cloud of state censorship that had cast a shadow over the Irish literary landscape since 1930 eventually began to lift in the late 1960s. The appeals mechanism introduced in 1946 had undone some of the worst excesses of the early years of censorship...
The Difficulty of We: The Epistolary Poems of Michael Longley and Derek Mahon
In 1971, Michael Longley published two epistolary poems, dedicated to his fellow poets Seamus Heaney and Derek Mahon, in the New Statesman; later, he added a third, to James Simmons, and published them together in his volume An Exploded View (1973)....
The Novel in Irish since 1950: From National Narrative to Counter-Narrative
No matter how often a book is praised, the praise is meaningless for English-language readers without Irish until they can read the text in translation. (1) This essay describes the main trends and developments within the Irish-language novel in...
The Struggle for Form: Sean O'Faolain's Autobiographies
This chaos of life must be reduced, somehow, to form! Sean O'Faolain For a man described by one leading American critic in 1957 as 'the most distinguished living Irish writer' (1) and by The Atlantic Monthly seven years later simply as 'Ireland's...
Thomas Kinsella: Jousting with Evil
At the beginning of his literary career Thomas Kinsella wrote poems about the precariousness of life and poems about love, eventually creating a style that incorporated the connection between them in language that embodied the idea of pain within love,...
'Tracing Again the Tiny Snail Track': Southern Protestant Memoir since 1950
To certain minds the real, the actual, is imbued with romance, simply because it was the real. To such minds the fact that a thing took place gives it a significance quite unaffected by the fact that now, as part of the past rather than the present,...
Turning Inside and Out: Translating and Irish 1950-2000
There is no need to recount the history of the wheel when writing about the invention of the motor car, but there is no harm in reminding ourselves that the history of translation in Irish is almost as old as literacy in the language. Versions of Lucan's...
Yeats's Politics since 1943: Approaches and Reproaches
The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, 'The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill. (Daniel 2.5) In the Tryal...
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