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    Carnivals of Reaction?: Irish Modernist Novelists and the Free State Counter-Revolution.

    Dowling, Conor (2020) Carnivals of Reaction?: Irish Modernist Novelists and the Free State Counter-Revolution. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    This dissertation is a study of Irish modernist novelists and of the pro-state and counterrevolutionary themes found in their works. These novels, in so far as they are concerned with political questions, are generally ambivalent about the post-1922 settlement in Ireland. This ambivalence has been often overlooked in recent criticism which has tended to suggest that Irish modernism was, in the post-independence period as much as in the period of revolutionary agitation which had preceded it, a force for imagining and creating alternative Irelands. Hence this thesis critically engages with Irish postcolonial critics such as Declan Kiberd, in demonstrating how the creation of the Free State in fact radically altered the context of Irish modernist literary production. I here explore the linkages between formal experimentation and counter-revolutionary politics in novels by four writers, James Joyce, Eimar O’Duffy, Brian O’Nolan, and Kate O’Brien. I argue that in works such as King Goshawk and the Birds, At Swim-Two-Birds, and The Land of Spices, as well as in Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, we can apprehend an appreciation of the actual achievements of the movement for Irish political independence. While these achievements are often understood by these authors to be flawed and insecure, and to be always under the threat of collapse, they are nevertheless animated to varying degrees by an ambition to protect and develop the legacies of 1922 settlement.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Carnivals of Reaction; Irish Modernist Novelists; Free State; Counter-Revolution;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > School of English, Media & Theatre Studies > English
    Item ID: 18247
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2024 15:20
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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