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  Home > Literature > Literary Criticism >

Ireland Through the Looking-Glass: Flann O'Brien, Myles na gCopaleen and Irish Cultural Debate
Ireland Through the Looking-Glass: Flann O'Brien, Myles na gCopaleen and Irish Cultural Debate


 
Our Price:39.00
Authors: Carol Taaffe
Affiliation: Trinity College Dublin
Publication Year: Hardback 2008
Pages: 284
Size: 234 x 156mm

ISBN: 9781859184424
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Description
 

This book investigates how Irish cultural debate informed O'Nolan's early fiction and journalism, in both Irish and English. It offers the first thorough assessment of his work in its Irish context, arguing that his self-reflexive comic writing betrays a crisis of literary identity that is rooted in the cultural dynamics of post-Independence Ireland.

Where previous studies have concentrated on the early novels, presenting him as an experimental writer who precociously anticipated the discoveries of later literary theory, this book instead explores his broad-ranging humour (as novelist and newspaper columnist) in its cultural contexts. What emerges from this fresh perspective is an original portrait of O'Nolan as a writer whose work was at once in conflict with, and wholly indebted to, the charged cultural politics of the new state.

This is the first book to thoroughly combine both aspects of his literary career, illuminating how his episodic novels relate to the journalism which he wrote throughout his life. It demonstrates how his recurrent preoccupation with the persona and role of the author was as much shaped by the difficult position of the Irish writer in the 1930s and 1940s as it was by literary modernism. Each chapter within the book focuses on a different aspect of O'Nolan's multi-faceted career, charting his development from a playful literary humorist to a peculiarly astute cultural critic.

This is the first book to demonstrate in detail what O'Nolan's varying blend of parody, satire and surreal humour owed to the peculiar cultural climate of the mid twentieth-century Ireland. By exploring the links between comedy and culture, it exposes the humorist's curiously ambivalent response to the culture of the new state, and particularly to the position of the writer within it.

Carol Taaffe is working in the School of English, Trinity College, Dublin and is a senior tutor in the School of English and Drama, University College Dublin.


Average Rating: 5 of 5 Total Reviews: 4 Write a review »

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Ireland Through the Looking Glass is probably the July 5, 2010
Reviewer: Joseph Brooker Modernism/Modernity from Republic of Ireland  
Ireland Through the Looking Glass is probably the most important work of literary criticism yet published on Flann O Brien. For years to come  the most valuable scholarship in  this area may well be a series of footnotes  however  extended  to Taaffe s formidable achievement

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  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
 
A meticulously researched well written and valuab December 7, 2009
Reviewer: Mark O Connell Irish Studies Review from Republic of Ireland  
A meticulously researched  well written and valuable contribution to our understanding of a complex and contradictory literary figure.

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This book represents a significant development in July 22, 2009
Reviewer: Jennika Baines Irish University Review from Republic of Ireland  
This book represents a significant development in the field of O Brien studies. It is also a useful source for scholars interested in the Bell  the Irish reception of Joyce  and the role of the writer in Irish public life.

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  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
 
this effort to contextualize O Nolan s work within July 22, 2009
Reviewer: CHOICE from Republic of Ireland  
this effort to contextualize O Nolan s work within the cultural and political environment in which he wrote it is an exceptionally well researched and largely successful piece of scholarship.

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