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The Oxford Companion to Irish Literature Hardcover – Nov 1 1991

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Clarendon Press (Nov. 1 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198661584
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198661580
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 15.6 x 23.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,108,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Abbey Theatre, the (Irish Literary Theatre; later Irish National Theatres), grew out of the literary revival that took place after the death of Parnell in 1891. Read the first page
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Serious tool for serious readers Sept. 4 2004
By Charles J. Marr - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The vast and growing field of Irish Literature can be a puzzle even to those who have spent a lifetime studying literature. Perhaps no literature/culture in the world is like that of Ireland. Consider the complexity of the Irish language and the English language and the Latin language all co-existing and interacting for centuries. The mingled mythologies and literary traditions, the images and allusions, interact in a fashion that puzzles but also delights. A little example is the mythological implications of something as simple as the swan:appearing in early mythology as the enchanted children of Lir, swans become symbols of abandonment, betrayal, timelessness, beauty and , LO! Yeats lifts them to the level of poetic inspiration.

This is not a soft or easy book to read. Its list of contributos has many recognizable scholarly names. They treat their subjects as scholars do. It is helpful in cross-referencing and giving Gaelic/English equivalents to names and titles. Even relatively minor writers have entries. However, note that the rich contemporary literary life of Ireland( the last ten years) requires some updating. Also, this is not a history or geography. There are some good ones available and it is useful to keep them on a nearby shelf, so as to understand strange reversals of fortune such as the role of ancient Ulster as seat of Irish identity and rebellion. I think a listing of significant events would be useful, but the roll of Irish rebellions and causes may be overwhelming. So too, I would probably find some use for a thorough guide to pronunciation, just so I can hear the terms in my head.

One of the strongest aspects of the text is that it includes the entire scope of writers: Irish who wrote in Irish, Irish who wrote in English, English living in Ireland, Irish living in England and even Irish writing in French. Rebels, West Britons, Ascendancy, and even anonymous, all get their seat at this table. I found myself, after a bit of referencing, sitting and reading forty or fifty pages at a time. That, too, is a matter of personal taste, but this is a subject one may find much to muse upon.
A History of Irish Literature June 14 2013
By Morrighan - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Many students and faculty have used an Oxford Companion as the primary guide to literature and other topics. How wonderful that one exists for Irish Literature. I couldn't imagine going without one.