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Modern Irish Literature II: Twentieth Century Fiction

Class at Faculty of Arts |


Irish literature is often praised for the strength of its storytelling traditions. In this course we will survey a diverse selection of twentieth century Irish writers to explore not only the modalities of narrative forms in modern Irish literature but also the stories they present of Irish life and society from the first decades of the twentieth century up to the first decade of the twenty-first. We will examine the ways in which these novels represent issues of national identity, political conflict, religious belief, gender and family. Our focus will be upon the following authors and novels: James Joyce Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), Elizabeth Bowen The Last September (1929),

Flann O’Brien At Swim-Two-Birds (1939), Kate O’Brien Land of Spices (1941), John McGahern The Dark (1965),

Jennifer Johnson The Invisible Worm (1992), Patrick McCabe The Butcher Boy (1992), Seamus Deane Reading in the Dark (1996), Roddy Doyle The Woman Who Walked into Doors (1996), Éilís Ní Dhuibhne The Dancers

Dancing (1999), Hugo Hamilton The Speckled People (2003), Anne Enright The Gathering (2007).

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