Sweeney Astray is Seamus Heaney's version of the medieval Irish work Buile Suibhne - the first complete translation since 1913. Its hero, Mad Sweeney, undergoes a series of purgatorial adventures after he is cursed by a saint and turned into a bird at the Battle of Moira. The poetry spoken by the mad king, exiled to the trees and the slopes, is among the richest and most immediately appealing in the whole canon of Gaelic literature. Sweeney Astray not only restores to us a work of historical and literary importance but offers the genius of one of our greatest living poets to reinforce its claims on the reader of contemporary literature.
Sweeney Astray is Seamus Heaney's version of the medieval Irish work Buile Suibne. Its hero, Mad Sweeney, undergoes a series of purgatorial adventures after he is cursed by a saint and turned into a bird at the Battle of Moira. Heaney's translation not only restores to us a work of historical and literary importance but offers the genius of one of our greatest living poets to reinforce its claims on the reader of contemporary literature.
Seamus Heaney's engagement with medieval literature constitutes a significant body of work by a major poet that extends across four decades, including a landmark translation of Beowulf. This book, the first to look exclusively at this engagement, examines both Heaney's direct translations and his adaptation of medieval material in his original poems. Each of the four chapters focuses substantially on a single major text: Sweeney Astray (1983), Station Island (1984), Beowulf (1999) and The Testament of Cresseid (2004). The discussion examines Heaney's translation practice in relation to source texts from a variety of languages (Irish, Italian, Old English, and Middle Scots) from across the medieval period, and also in relation to Heaney's own broader body of work. It suggests that Heaney's translations and adaptations give a contemporary voice to medieval texts, bringing the past to bear upon contemporary concerns both personal and political. CONOR MCCARTHY gained his PhD from Trinity College Dublin.
This is the second of four collections of essays published under the general title Studies in Contemporary Irish Literature which are devoted to critical analysis of Irish writing since the 1950s. Essays in this collection establish some of the defining characteristics of contemporary Irish poetry, examine common features of several groups of poets and present focused analyses of twelve individual poets. The contributors are Elmer Andrews, Rand Brandes, Rory Brennan, Terence Brown, Richard Allen Cave, Tom Clyde, Gerald Dawe, Peter Denman, Maurice Elliott, Eamon Grennan, Edna Longley, Caoimhin MacGiolla Leith, Kathleen McCracken, Peter McDonald, Ron Marken, Gerardine Meaney, Dennis O'Driscoll, Bernard O' Donoghuem Alan Peacock, Linda Revie, Robert Tracy, Stan Smith and Clair Wills.
Seamus Heaney’s Mythmaking examines Seamus Heaney’s poetic engagement with myth from his earliest work to the posthumous publication of Aeneid Book VI. The essays explore the ways in which Heaney creates his own mythic outlook through multiple mythic lenses. They reveal how Heaney adopts a demiurgic role throughout his career, creating a poetic universe that draws on diverse mythic cycles from Greco-Roman to Irish and Norse to Native American. In doing so, this collection is in dialogue with recent work on Heaney’s engagement with myth. However, it is unique in its wide-ranging perspective, extending beyond Ancient and Classical influences. In its focus on Heaney’s personal metamorphosis of several mythic cycles, this collection reveals more fully the poet’s unique approach to mythmaking, from his engagement with the act of translation to transnational influences on his work and from his poetic transformations to the poetry’s boundary-crossing transitions. Combining the work of established Heaney scholars with the perspectives of early-career researchers, this collection contains a wealth of original scholarship that reveals Heaney’s expansive mythic mind. Mythmaking, an act for which Heaney has faced severe criticism, is reconsidered by all contributors, prompting multifaceted and nuanced readings of the poet’s work.
Modern Irish and Scottish Literature: Connections, Contrasts, Celticisms explores the ways Irish and Scottish literatures have influenced each other from the 1760s onwards. Although an early form of Celticism disappeared with the demise of the Celtic Revivals of Ireland and Scotland, the 'Celtic world' and the 'Celtic temperament' remained key themes in central texts of Irish and Scottish literature well into the twentieth century. Richard Barlow examines the emergence, development, and transformation of Celticism within Irish and Scottish writing and identifies key connections between modern Irish and Scottish authors and texts. By reading works from figures such as James Macpherson, Walter Scott, Sydney Owenson, Augusta Gregory, W. B. Yeats, Fiona Macleod, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Hugh MacDiarmid, Sorley MacLean, and Seamus Heaney in their political and cultural contexts, Barlow provides a new account of the characteristics and phases of literary Celticism within Romanticism, Modernism, and beyond.
Author: Canadian Association for Irish Studies. International Conference
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Category: Civilization, Medieval, in literature
Readers of this volume will be struck by the pervasiveness of the connections between the medieval and the modern in Ireland and the Irish, artists in particular, and realize why James Joyce could hardly avoid linking the modern Irish artist with the medieval Irish monk, as he does in the bitter musings of Stephen Dedalus, who walks alone into eternity along Sandymount Strand: "You were going to do wonders, what? Missionary to Europe after fiery Columbanus." Contents: Introduction, Richard Wall; The Image Of The IrishóMedieval and ModernóContinuity and Change, F.X. Martin, O.S.A.; John Bull's Other Ego: Reactions to the Stage Irishman in Anglo-Irish Drama, Heinz Kosok; Contemporary Irish Poetry and The Matter of IrelandóThomas Kinsella, John Montague and Seamus Heaney, Brian John; Early Irish Literature and Contemporary Scholarly Disciplines, Ann Dooley; Brian Friel's Translations: National and Universal Dimensions, Wolfgang Zach; Brian Moore and The Meaning of Exile, Hallvard Dahlie; Medieval Irish Poetics: Linguistic Interaction and Audience, Toni O'Brien Johnson; The Artifice of Eternity: Medieval Aspects of Modern Irish Literature, John Wilson Foster; Notes; Notes on Contributors; Index^R
This volume ranges from the Second World War to the postmodern, considering issues of the 'popular' and the competing criteria by which literature has been judged in the later twentieth century. As well as tracing the transition from modernism to postmodernism, the authors guide students through debates around the pleasures of the popular and the question of inter-relations between 'mass' and 'high' cultures. Drawing further upon issues of value and function raised in Aestheticism and Modernism: Debating Twentieth-Century Literature 1900-1960, they examine contemporary literary prizes and the activity of judgement involved in English Studies. This text can be used alongside the other books in the series for a complete course on twentieth-century literature, or on its own as essential reading for students of mid to late twentieth-century writing. Texts examined in detail include: du Maurier's Rebecca, poetry by Ginsburg and O'Hara, Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Puig's Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Beckett's Waiting for Godot, Heaney's New Selected Poems 1966-1987, Gurnah's Paradise, Barker's The Ghost Road.
This is a book about contemporary literary and artistic entanglements: word and image, media and materiality, inscription and illustration. It proposes a vulnerable, fugitive mode of reading poetry, which defies disciplinary categorisations, embracing the open-endedness and provisionality of forms. This manifests itself interactively in the six case studies, which have been chosen for their distinctness and diversity across the long twentieth century: the book begins with the early twentieth-century work of writer and artist Djuna Barnes, exploring her re-animation of sculptural and dramatic sources. It then turns to the late modernist artist and poet David Jones considering his use of the graphic and plastic arts in The Anathemata, and next, to the underappreciated mid-century poet F.T. Prince, whose work uncannily re-activates Michelangelo's poetry and sculpture. The second half of the book explores the collaborations of the canonical poet Ted Hughes with the publisher and artist Leonard Baskin during the 1970s; the innovative late twentieth-century poetry of Denise Riley who uses page space and embodied sound as a form of address; and, finally, the contemporary poet Paul Muldoon who has collaborated with photographers and artists, as well as ventriloquising nonhuman phenomena. The resulting unique study offers contemporary writers and readers a new understanding of literary, artistic, and nonhuman practices and shows the cultural importance of engaging with their messy co-dependencies. The book challenges critical methodologies that make a sharp division between the textual work and the extra-literary, and raises urgent questions about the status and autonomy of art and its social role.
Emerald Green: An Ecocritical Study of Irish Literature analyzes a wide range of Irish literature whose themes tie into a reverence for the natural world of Ireland. From an ecocritical perspective, these works, tied into an understanding of the landscape and particular aspects of nature, attain a fresh new meaning and foster a more relevant reflection of Ireland’s beautiful literary landscape. The analysis begins with the first Irish writers, the hermit poets, and examines the ways in which the Irish hermit and saint were connected spiritually, through both pagan and early Christian values, to the natural world. The book then examines Irish literature from the perspective of the deforested landscape and the landscapes of farmland, divided property, famine, ruins, and a threatening natural world. Following the Famine, the book moves on to explore the establishment of the pastoral dream in this loss of landscape, and a re- connection to nature through the writers of the Irish Literary Renaissance. From there, the analysis shifts to the nature writing of Ireland’s islands, including nature and community on Achill Island, storytelling on the Aran Islands, exile in nature on Skellig Michael, and the mythmaking of the Great Blasket Island. Moving north and into the twentieth century, Emerald Green focuses on four nature poets from Northern Ireland: Patrick Kavanagh, Louis MacNeice, Seamus Heaney, and Michael Longley; all four are redeemed by nature through their returns to the rural landscape of Ireland’s west coast. The book concludes with an examination of modern Irish environmental writers and naturalist poets, as well as journalists weighing in on current environmental concerns in Ireland. Emerald Green concludes with an assessment of the future of nature in Ireland, and how the significant reduction of this country’s natural landscape will alter its literary landscape as well.