By Glenda Norquay, Gerry Smyth
Around the Margins deals a comparative, theoretically educated research of the cultural formation of the Atlantic Archipelago. In its total notion and in particular contributions, this assortment demonstrates the advantages of operating around the disciplines of background, geography, literature, and cultural reports. It additionally provides new configurations of cultural kinds hitherto linked to particularly nationwide and sub-national literatures.
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Additional info for Across The Margins: Cultural Identity and Change in the Atlantic Archipelago
A confident concept of Irish English would substantially increase the vocabulary and this would invigorate the written language. A language that lives lithely on the tongue ought to be capable of becoming the flexible written instrument of a complete cultural idea. (191) Paulin touches a nerve here. ‘A confident concept of Irish English’ is exactly what is missing in modern Irish literature, though recent work has gone some way to restoring confidence, at least in terms of critical credibility (Todd 1989; Wales 1992).
Kiberd sees here an anticipation of the ‘guilty compromise’ of ‘postcolonial exile’ which means, on the part of the writer, ‘a refusal of a more direct engagement’ (333), and this is certainly one way of expressing the dynamic of ‘the people’ for the post-colonial intellectual. Stephen’s diary entry for 14 April is also part of a sequence which is illuminated further by looking at the preceding and successive days – the previous day’s entry recounts the much discussed revelation that the word ‘tundish’ is ‘English and good old blunt English too’ (Joyce 1992 : 274), while on 15 April Stephen writes of his last meeting with EC, a meeting which, like that imagined the day before with the peasant, ends with an effort at achieved distance (‘in fact … O, give it up, old chap!
Of O’Casey, Williams remarked: ‘But the most interesting later work is where the interest always was: in the true nature of that endless fantasy of Irish talk’ (1981: 148, 169). The latter part of the twentieth century witnessed a reaction against the ‘Elizabethan richness’ commended by Yeats. Irish poets would speak the Queen’s English, but it would be the English of Elizabeth II. Kiberd’s own language is revealing. Speaking of the predicament of the Irish writer, caught between Irish and English modes, Kiberd remarks: Many artists, most notably Synge, have sought to bridge that schism by injecting toxins of Gaelic syntax and imagery into their writing.
Across The Margins: Cultural Identity and Change in the Atlantic Archipelago by Glenda Norquay, Gerry Smyth