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Modern Irish Literature: Rebels and Radicals (EAS3253)

30 credits

This module will examine a range of Irish fiction, drama, and poetry from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present day. You will begin with a study of the work of W.B. Yeats and James Joyce, before going on to examine how writers such as Sean O’Casey and Frank O’Connor hold a mirror up to the events of the Irish War of Independence and the Civil War of the 1920s. You will also look at how more recent writers and poets respond to Ireland’s tumultuous political history and the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland. The next stage of the module will explore narratives of exile and return in Irish literature as well as related issues such as the impact of literary censorship and the influence of the Irish Catholic Church on Irish cultural life. Finally, you will consider recent developments in Irish writing, paying particular attention to the work of Irish women novelists and poets and the response of Irish writers to the social and economic developments of the last twenty years. Throughout the course, you will trace the legacies of Joyce and Yeats and consider how more recent writing pays homage to, or resists, the powerful influence of these literary giants.