Ireland, Literature, and the Coast: Seatangled

ISBN : 9780198857877

Nicholas Allen
320 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Nov 2020
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The island of Ireland is home to one of the world's great literary and artistic traditions. This book reads Irish literature and art in context of the island's coastal and maritime cultures, beginning with the late imperial experiences of Jack and William Butler Yeats and ending with the contemporary work of Anne Enright and Sinead Morrissey. It includes chapters on key historical texts such as Erskine Childers's The Riddle of the Sands, and on contemporary writers including Eilean Ni Chuilleanain and Kevin Barry. It sets a diverse range of writing and visual art in a fluid panorama of liquid associations that connect Irish literature to an archipelago of other times and places. Situated within contemporary conversations about the blue and the environmental humanities, this book builds on the upsurge of interest in seas and coasts in literary studies, presenting James Joyce, Elizabeth Bowen, John Banville, and many others in new coastal and maritime contexts. In doing so, it creates a literary and visual narrative of Irish coastal cultures across a seaboard that extends to a planetary configuration of imagined islands.


1 The Maritime Yeats
2 Erskine Childers and The Riddle of the Sands
3 Coastal Joyce
4 Jack Yeats's Scrapbooks
5 At the Ebb Tide: Literary Cultures and Mid-Century Ireland
6 Heaney Offshore
7 Liquid Labyrinths: The North and the Sea
8 Wavy Rhythms: Atlantic Crossings in Fiction
9 Eilean Ni Chuilleanain, Poetry, and Water
10 Fluidity and Form in Hamilton, Banville, and Enright
11 Kevin Barry's Atlantic Drift
12 Into the Archipelago

About the author: 

Nicholas Allen is the director of the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts and Endowed Professor in Humanities at the University of Georgia. A native of Belfast, he has published several books on Ireland and its literature, has been the Burns Visiting Scholar at Boston College, and has received many grants and awards, including from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Irish Research Council.

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