1st Edition

Irish Identity and the Literary Revival Synge, Yeats, Joyce and O'Casey

By George Watson Copyright 1979

    First published in 1979, Irish Identity and the Literary Revival, through the works of W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, J. M. Synge, and Sean O’Casey, documents the complex spectrum of political, social and other pressures that helped fashion modern Ireland. At least three sets of cultural assumptions coexisted in Ireland during the years between 1890 and 1930, -- English, Irish and Anglo-Irish, each united by a common language but divided by considerable tensions and strain. The question of Irish identity forms the central theme of the study, and illustrates how it was a major, even obsessive concern for these writers. Subsidiary and interwoven themes constantly recur. Themes such as the concepts of the peasant and the hero, political nationalism, the meaning of Ireland’s history and the validity of her cultural traditions. Rather than use the literature concerned as merely endorsing evidence for a sociological or political thesis, this study allows its major themes and issues to emerge and develop from direct and close study of the work of the writers. This book will be of interest to students of literature and history.

    Preface List of Texts and Editions Cited Frequently 1. Introduction: The Cracked Looking Glass 2. J. M. Synge: The Watcher from the Shadows 3. W. B. Yeats: From ‘Unity of Culture’ to ‘Anglo-Irish Solitude’ 4. James Joyce: From Inside to Outside and Back Again 5. Sean O’Casey: Hearts o’ Flesh, Hearts o’ Stone, and Chassis Notes Select Bibliography Index


    G. J. Watson