This study considers writing within the cultural context of Northern Ireland and discusses how writing creates a sense of community, and the different forms this takes when written from loyalist or republican perspectives. The book takes its major theoretical energy from readings of Antonio Gramsci's concept of hegemony and Walter Benjamin's work on historiography. hese are applied to major writers such as Seamus Heaney, Tom Paulin, Paul Muldoon and Edna Longley and to institutions such as the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.
Introduction: The Interregnum, the institution and the critic 1.'In the midst of all this dross': Establishing grounds of dissent The Country, The City 2.'This thing could rule the world': Northern Irish writing and the idea of coterie 3.'Unconscious patriotism': Northern criticism in the 1980s 4.'Nothing left but the sense of exhuastion': Field Day and counter-hegemony 5.'Just another twist in the plot': Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon and the final institution. Paradigms of possibility Conclusion: Madoc and the institution Bibliography Index