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Distributed for University College Dublin Press

Art of Brian Coffey

The Unappeasable Host: Studies in Irish Identities explores some of the tensions created when Anglo-Irish writers - Protestant in religion, of non-Irish ancestryreflected upon their preferred subject matter, Ireland and their unhyphenated Catholic contemporaries. These tensions involve the writers’ sense of anxiety about their own membership in the Irish community, and at the same time their anxiety about losing their distinctive identity. Anglo-Irish writers founded modern Irish literature in English, identifying themselves with their native country and its people. Yet they often felt themselves surrounded and watched by an ’Unappeasable Host’, a population that resented them. Robert Tracy discusses Irish writers who in England were considered Irish, in Ireland English - including Maria Edgeworth and Lady Morgan, the Banim brothers, Roger O’Connor, Sheridan Le Fanu, W. B. Yeats, J. M. Synge, Elizabeth Bowen - together with James Joyce, who, although neither of English ancestry nor Protestant, similarly focuses on individuals separated or excluded from the Irish life around them.

160 pages

Literature and Literary Criticism:

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Table of Contents

The cracked looking-glass of a servant - inventing the colonial novel Maria Edgeworth and Lady Morgan - legality versus legitimacy fiery shorthand - the Banim brothers at work self-fashioning as pseudo-history - Roger O’Connor’s "Chronicles of Eri" Sheridan Le Fanu and the Unmentionable that rooted man - Yeats, "John Sherman" and "Dhoya" long division in the long schoolroom - among school children intelligible on the Blasket Islands - Yeats’s "King Oedipus", 1926 merging into art - "The Death of Cuchulain" and the death of Yeats living in the margin - Synge in Aran words of mouth - Joyce and the oral tradition Mr Joker and Dr Hyde - Joyce’s politic polyglot polygraphs in the heart of the Theban necropolis - mummyscripts and mummiescrypts in "Finnegan’s Wake" the burning roof and tower - identity in Elizabeth Bowen’s "The Last September" Elizabeth Bowen - rebuilding the big house a ghost of style exorcising the Anglo-Irish past.

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