Literature Around the World: Ireland

Ireland’s history is rich with conquests and colonizations, famine, mass emigration, resistance, rebellion and the civil war, all encapsulated within their literature. Irelands literature has the presence of a dual tradition for their works being published in English and their manuscripts being considered Irish, making the Anglo-Irish literature; the oldest literature in Europe, dating all the way back to the 4th or 5th Century.

Throughout the 18th century, Ireland produced literature that closely resembled English works. Due to numerous Irish authors being exiled to England, a lot of them wrote in English fashion, inevitably making them famous as English writers until the 20th century when they were reinstated as Irish writers.

Gulliver’s travels, written by Jonathon Swift, was written and based off of Belfast, Ireland, making the Irish prideful in their literary writers. Each year, numerous cities around the country celebrate literary authors with festivals and landmarks.

Ireland.com shows how Irelands people are prideful and loving of their literary authors in an article written about how Irish stories are romanic, all written within the land.

“Dublin, a UNESCO City of Literature, takes pride in its literary heroes and is crammed with landmarks in their honour. Bronze statues of iconic writers pepper the streets, like poet Patrick Kavanagh on the Grand Canal and Oscar Wilde in Merrion Square” wrote Ireland.com

Not only are the citizens of Ireland fascinated with their literary history, but so are others from around the world. A environmental humanities professor at the University of Massachusetts, Malcom Sen, wrote an article about the literature of Ireland: nature and culture. 

“Every reader and scholar of Irish literature is familiar with its extensive genealogy of nature writing, and a ‘sense of place’ found across a great variety of texts. While not unique to Ireland such a rich heritage has produced some of the most enduring and exciting literary and cultural narratives and criticisms” Sen said.

The hybrid of culture that the Irish has encompass throughout the years has created an endless cultural tension within their literary works, all focuses on issues such as land, religion, nationality, and language. The Irish work to make a name for themselves, something that separates them from England. Although the dual tradition in Irish writing has created in important stamp for shaping and inflecting the material written in English, which is Irelands colonizers language.

Rich Wreath, a writer for The Telegraph, wrote about the outstanding opportunity he had to visit Ireland. He wrote about how the country truly embeds their literature and truly creates a living presence within their printed words.

“It seems to spill out from the page and permeate the whole of the island, town and country alike. Storytelling is central to the Irish character and the printed word is a living presence. CS Lewis was a son of Northern Ireland, and based much of his fantasy land of Narnia on the Mourne Mountains. Monaghan’s literary voices have tended to be as distinctive as the landscape, and none more so than Patrick Kavanagh. In works such as the novel Tarry Flynn he consistently refused to romanticize the harsh realities of rural life” Wreath said.

Not only are the authors of Irish literature speaking from the heart about Irelands presence, but they are also creating a new modern outlook on Irish literature.

 

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