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Modernist Afterlives in Irish Literature and Culture

Modernist Afterlives in Irish Literature and Culture

By Paige Reynolds

Anthem Irish Studies

Modernist Afterlives in Irish Literature and Culture explores manifestations of the themes, forms and practices of high modernism in Irish literature and culture produced subsequent to this influential movement. The interdisciplinary collection reveals how Irish artists grapple with modernist legacies and forge new modes of expression for modern and contemporary culture.

Paperback, 250 Pages


September 2019

£25.00, $40.00

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  • About This Book
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About This Book

Modernist Afterlives in Irish Literature and Culture explores manifestations of the themes, forms and practices of high modernism in Irish literature and culture produced subsequent to this influential movement.

Modernist Afterlives in Irish Literature and Culture closely examines how Irish writers and artists from the mid-twentieth century onwards grapple with the legacies bequeathed by modernism and seek to forge new modes of expression for modern and contemporary culture.

Modernist Afterlives in Irish Literature and Culture brings together many of the most respected and renowned scholars in Irish and modernist studies, demonstrating the diversity of intellectual approaches to the Irish culture produced in the wake of high modernism.


‘This rich collection contributes significantly to our understanding of modernism’s continuing vibrancy in Ireland and beyond in ways that modernist scholars will acknowledge by their engaged, admiring responses. There is no other collection like it, but it will spawn progeny, in its own afterlife.’ John Paul Riquelme, Professor of English, Boston University

‘Irish modernism is often perceived as being before its time but this stunning collection makes clear that many of the best lines were kept until last. These essays provide vital reading for new, interdisciplinary approaches to modernism, Irish Studies, post-colonialism, visual culture and gender studies.’ Luke Gibbons, author of Joyce’s Ghosts, Ireland, Modernism, and Memory

‘Modernist Afterlives is a startlingly fresh and provocative collection which brings together a sparkling array of subjects and contributors. This is at once a field-defining and field-opening volume, offering hospitality to new, compelling perspectives and lasting illuminations for its readers.’ Margaret Kelleher, Chair of Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama, University College Dublin

‘An articulate and compelling testament to the state of Irish studies at the present moment. The essays collected here, under Reynolds’s wise guidance, make a vibrant case for the ongoing role of Irish modernism in a 21st-century global context.’ Kevin Dettmar, W. M. Keck Professor and Chair, Pomona College, California


‘This impressive, truly multidisciplinary volume engages seminal aspects of modernism in a wide variety of Irish cultural forms and artifacts. It embarks upon a unique project which will greatly benefit all serious students of Irish culture.’ Stephen Watt, Provost Professor of English, Indiana University

Author Information

Paige Reynolds is a professor in the Department of English at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts. Author of Modernism, Drama, and the Audience for Irish Spectacle, Reynolds has published on topics related to modernism, modern and contemporary Irish literature, drama and performance and periodical culture.


Anthem Irish Studies

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors; Acknowledgements; Introduction: Paige Reynolds; Section One: Literature and Language; 1. Anne Fogarty, ‘A World of Hotels and Gaols’: Women Novelists and the Spaces of Irish Modernism, 1930-1932; 2. Lucy Collins, ‘I Knew What It Meant/Not to Be at All’: Death and the (Modernist) Afterlife in the Work of Irish Women Poets of the 1940s; 3. Leah Flack, ‘Whatever Is Given/Can Always Be Reimagined’: Seamus Heaney’s Indefinite Modernism; 4. Ellen McWilliams, James Joyce and the Lives of Edna O’Brien; 5. Alex Davis, Modernist Topoi and Late Modernist Praxis in Recent Irish Poetry (with Special Reference to the Work of David Lloyd); 6. Sarah McKibben, ‘Amach Leis!’ (Out with It!): Modernist Inheritances in Micheál Ó Conghaile’s ‘Athair’ (Father); Section Two: Institutions, Art and Performance; 7. Andrew A. Kuhn, ‘Make a Letter Like a Monument’: Remnants of Modernist Literary Institutions in Ireland; 8. Róisín Kennedy, Storm in a Teacup: Irish Modernist Art; 9. Linda King, ‘Particles of Meaning’: The Modernist Afterlife in Irish Design; 10. Maria Pramaggiore, Animal Afterlives: Equine Legacies in Irish Visual Culture; 11. Aoife McGrath, Choreographies of Irish Modernity; 12. Emilie Pine, The Modernist Impulse in Irish Theatre: Anu Productions and the Monto; Afterword: David James, The Poetics of Perpetuation; Index.

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