The Booker Prize for Fiction is awarded each year for the best original novel written in English. Until recently, the prize was limited to only writers publishing in the United Kingdom. The prize is of great significance for writers, publishers, and readers. This is a much sought-after mark of distinction.  1973 – James Gordon Farrell – ‘The Siege of Krishnapur‘  1978 – Jean Iris Murdoch – ‘The Sea...

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The Nobel Prize in Literature is one of the most esteemed awards a writer can receive. Ireland is home to several notable winners of this cherished and coveted prize.  1923 – William Butler Yeats  1925 – George Bernard Shaw  1969 – Samuel Beckett  1995 – Seamus Heaney...

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From the outset, the nature and function of Irish literature has always been political or used for political ends. However, it is a mistake to bind Irish Literature to nationalism to the exclusion of Protestant culture, identity and politics.   The role of art in Irish culture, and in particular Irish literature, is best summarized by James Joyce in the Scylla and Charybdis episode of Ulysses. He writes, “The supreme question about...

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Writers from Ulster  Antrim: Sam Millar, William Hamilton Drummond, Alexander Irvine, Sam Burnside, Paula Clamp, Gréagóir Ó Dúill  Armagh: William Drennan, Louis MacNeice, Derek Mahon, Paul Muldoon, Medbh McGuckian, Brian Keenan, Ray Givans, Jarlath Gregory  Cavan: Cathair Mac Cabe, Thomas Sheridan, Henry Brooke, Philip Connell, Mary-Anne Madden Sadlier, Agnes O’Farrelly, Shane Connaughton  Derry: Seamus Heaney...

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Absurdism is a philosophy, usually translated into different art forms, that holds that any attempt to understand the universe will fail.   Aestheticism: Art for art’s sake, rather than for any exterior motive, such as utilitarianism.   Allegory: A work that has a literal meaning and a subtext that is symbolic, used particularly as a way of commenting about political or moral ideas or people.   Allusion: Reference to something e...

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Ireland is home to several world-class universities, many of which specialize in literature and literary history. Below is a list of popular high education providers.  Trinity College Dublin School of Drama, The Samuel Beckett Centre,  Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland  Ph: +353 1 608 1239 Fax: +353 1 679 3488  E-mail: ann.mulligan@tcd.ie  School of Irish & Celtic Languages  Professor Damian McManus Room 4059 (Arts Building), tele...

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Histories are told through stories. Irish literary history is measured in major works and writings, but these texts can also illuminate a great many pivotal events in the country’s history.  Irish Literature in the 12th century The Book of Leinster – 1150 AD (The Lebor Gabala Erren), Aislinge Mac Conglinne  Irish Literature in the 14th century The Yellow Book of Lecan, The Great Book of Lecan, The Book of Hy Many, and The Boo...

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Irish Literature in the 12th century During the 12th century, Ireland was divided into a fluid hierarchy of petty kingdoms and over-kingdoms. Power was concentrated in the hands of regional dynasties fighting against each other for the control or more land. One of their number, the King of Leinster Diarmait Mac Murchada (anglicized as Diarmuid MacMorrough) was forcibly exiled from his kingdom by the new High King, Ruaidri mac Tairrdelba...

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Whether you’re looking to publish your own work or on the hunt for the next big name in Irish literature, you’ll need to start somewhere. Below is a list of active literary publishers in Ireland.     Fornas na Gaeilge  Blackhall Publishing  Blackstaff Press  Brandon/Mount Eagle Publications  Church of Ireland Publishing  Clar-Chonnachta  Cois Life  Cork University Press  D.I.A.S. School of Celtic Studies  Flyleaf Press  Georgi...

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Dates: b. 1847, d. 1912 Literary Movement: Dark romanticism Famous Works: Dracula   Profile: While many of us know Bram Stoker as the mastermind behind the modern iteration of the vampire, in his life, he was better known as the personal assistant of actor Sir Henry Irving. He was also the business manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London. Though Stoker had a diverse set of interests and gifts, his contribution to the Irish literary tradition is ...

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Dates: b. 1768, d. 1848 Literary Movement: Realism, early Romanticism, Famous Works: Practical Education, Belinda, Leonora, Helen   Profile: While Maria Edgeworth doesn’t always get the recognition she deserves, she is noted as having been a significant figure in the evolution of the novel in Europe. Though she was born in England, Edgeworth moved to Ireland as a child. She received home-schooling from her father and excelled in law, politics,...

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Dates: b. 1667, d. 1745 Literary Movement: Satire Famous Works: A Modest Proposal, A Tale of a Tub, Gulliver’s Travels   Profile: Jonathan Swift is regarded as the foremost prose satirist in the English language. During his life, he worked as an Anglo-Irish satirist, an essayist, and a political pamphleteer—for both the Whigs and the Tories. He was a poet, a cleric, and a startlingly prolific writer. Much of his work was originally published...

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Dates: b. 1854, d. 1900 Literary Movement: Victorian aestheticism Famous Works: The Importance of Being Earnest   Profile: Born Oscar Fingal O’Hahertie Wils Wilde, Oscar Wild was an Irish poet and playwright. He was born in Dublin, Ireland to Sir William Wilde and Jane Wilde and baptized as an infant in St. Mark’s Church. Until he was nine, Oscar Wilde was educated at home—a French bonne and a German governess taught him their lang...

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Dates: b. 1939, d. 2013 Literary Movement: Modernism Famous Works: Death of a Naturalist, North, Field Work, The Spirit Level   Profile: A native of Northern Ireland, Seamus Heaney was raised in County Derry, Ireland. His family moved to Bellaghy, where he attended Anahorish Primary School. At age twelve, Heaney won a scholarship to St. Columb’s College, a Roman Catholic boarding school in Derry. Heaney’s younger brother, Christopher...

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Dates: b. 1865, d. 1939 Literary Movement: Late Victorian, Early Modernism Famous Works: The Tower, The Green Helmet, The Winding Stair   Profile: William Butler Yeats was born at Sandymount in County Dublin, Ireland to John Butler Yeats and Susan Mary Pollexfen. Yeats was raised as a member of the Protestant Ascendancy in a time when Ireland was experiencing a nationalist revival; this informed Yeats’ outlook on his heritage for most of h...

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Dates: b. 1930 Literary Movement: Realism Famous Works: Girl with Green Eyes, August Is a Wicked Month, The Country Girl   Profile: Edna O’Brien is a renowned Irish novelist, memoirist, playwright, poet, and short story writer. She was born in 1930 at Tuamgraney, County Clare, Ireland. O’Brien has described her mother as a strong, controlling woman who emigrated temporarily to America. She worked for some time as a maid in Brooklyn, ...

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Unlike other contemporary English-speaking countries, Ireland has one of the oldest vernacular literatures in western Europe, following only Greek and Latin. Irish literacy flourished with the arrival of Christianity in the fifth century; before, the Irish had a simple writing system known now as “ogham.” This system was used primarily for inscriptions, but the introduction of Latin led to an adaptation of the Latin alphabet into the Irish la...

No Comments Alice Frazier Read More

Immediately following the publication of Ulysses, James Joyce devised what is now known as the Gilbert Schema. The schema for the novel was intended to help Joyce’s friend, Stuart Gilbert, understand the fundamental structure of the book. Gilbert then published the guide within his James Joyce’s “Ulysses”: A Study in 1930. The original copy of the Gilbert schema is housed at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.   The schema defin...

No Comments Alice Frazier Read More

Also known as the Irish Literary Renaissance (nicknamed the “Celtic Twilight), this movement marked a flowering of Irish literary talent. The movement is associated with a simultaneous revival of interest in the country’s Gaelic heritage and growth of Irish nationalism in the middle of the 19th century. Early influences include James Clarence Mangan, a poet, and Samuel Ferguson, another poet, and Standish James O’Grady, a journalist and his...

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Irish Writers who have won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction
Resources / 09/12/2019

The Booker Prize for Fiction is awarded each year for the best original novel written in English. Until recently, the prize was limited to only writers publishing in the United Kingdom. The prize is of great significance for writers, publishers, and readers. This is a much sought-after mark of distinction.  1973 – James Gordon Farrell – ‘The Siege of Krishnapur‘  1978 – Jean Iris Murdoch – R...

Irish Writers who have won the Nobel Prize
Resources / 05/11/2019

The Nobel Prize in Literature is one of the most esteemed awards a writer can receive. Ireland is home to several notable winners of this cherished and coveted prize.  1923 – William Butler Yeats  1925 – George Bernard Shaw  1969 – Samuel Beckett  1995 – Seamus Heaney...

The Role of Irish Literature in Ireland
Movement to Know / 22/10/2019

From the outset, the nature and function of Irish literature has always been political or used for political ends. However, it is a mistake to bind Irish Literature to nationalism to the exclusion of Protestant culture, identity and politics.   The role of art in Irish culture, and in particular Irish literature, is best summarized by James Joyce in the Scylla and Charybdis episode of Ulysses. He writes, “The supreme ques...

Writers from Different Regions of Ireland
Resources / 08/10/2019

Writers from Ulster  Antrim: Sam Millar, William Hamilton Drummond, Alexander Irvine, Sam Burnside, Paula Clamp, Gréagóir Ó Dúill  Armagh: William Drennan, Louis MacNeice, Derek Mahon, Paul Muldoon, Medbh McGuckian, Brian Keenan, Ray Givans, Jarlath Gregory  Cavan: Cathair Mac Cabe, Thomas Sheridan, Henry Brooke, Philip Connell, Mary-Anne Madden Sadlier, Agnes O’Farrelly, Shane Connaughton  Derry: Sea...

Irish Literature Terms
Resources / 24/09/2019

Absurdism is a philosophy, usually translated into different art forms, that holds that any attempt to understand the universe will fail.   Aestheticism: Art for art’s sake, rather than for any exterior motive, such as utilitarianism.   Allegory: A work that has a literal meaning and a subtext that is symbolic, used particularly as a way of commenting about political or moral ideas or people.   Allusion: Reference to s...

Get a Higher Education in Irish Literature from a University in Ireland
Resources / 10/09/2019

Ireland is home to several world-class universities, many of which specialize in literature and literary history. Below is a list of popular high education providers.  Trinity College Dublin School of Drama, The Samuel Beckett Centre,  Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland  Ph: +353 1 608 1239 Fax: +353 1 679 3488  E-mail: ann.mulligan@tcd.ie  School of Irish & Celtic Languages  Professor Damian McManus Room 4059 (Arts Build...

A Timeline of Major Irish Literary Works
Resources / 27/08/2019

Histories are told through stories. Irish literary history is measured in major works and writings, but these texts can also illuminate a great many pivotal events in the country’s history.  Irish Literature in the 12th century The Book of Leinster – 1150 AD (The Lebor Gabala Erren), Aislinge Mac Conglinne  Irish Literature in the 14th century The Yellow Book of Lecan, The Great Book of Lecan, The Book of Hy Many, a...

Notable Periods in the History of Irish Literature
Resources / 13/08/2019

Irish Literature in the 12th century During the 12th century, Ireland was divided into a fluid hierarchy of petty kingdoms and over-kingdoms. Power was concentrated in the hands of regional dynasties fighting against each other for the control or more land. One of their number, the King of Leinster Diarmait Mac Murchada (anglicized as Diarmuid MacMorrough) was forcibly exiled from his kingdom by the new High King, Ruaidri mac ...

Literary Publishers in Ireland
Resources / 30/07/2019

Whether you’re looking to publish your own work or on the hunt for the next big name in Irish literature, you’ll need to start somewhere. Below is a list of active literary publishers in Ireland.     Fornas na Gaeilge  Blackhall Publishing  Blackstaff Press  Brandon/Mount Eagle Publications  Church of Ireland Publishing  Clar-Chonnachta  Cois Life  Cork University Press  D.I.A.S. School of Celtic Studies  Flyleaf Pres...

Writer Profile: Bram Stoker
Writer Profiles / 18/07/2019

Dates: b. 1847, d. 1912 Literary Movement: Dark romanticism Famous Works: Dracula   Profile: While many of us know Bram Stoker as the mastermind behind the modern iteration of the vampire, in his life, he was better known as the personal assistant of actor Sir Henry Irving. He was also the business manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London. Though Stoker had a diverse set of interests and gifts, his contribution to the Irish literary tra...

Writer Profile: Maria Edgeworth
Writer Profiles / 26/06/2019

Dates: b. 1768, d. 1848 Literary Movement: Realism, early Romanticism, Famous Works: Practical Education, Belinda, Leonora, Helen   Profile: While Maria Edgeworth doesn’t always get the recognition she deserves, she is noted as having been a significant figure in the evolution of the novel in Europe. Though she was born in England, Edgeworth moved to Ireland as a child. She received home-schooling from her father and excelled in law,...

Writer Profile: Jonathan Swift
Writer Profiles / 18/09/2018

Dates: b. 1667, d. 1745 Literary Movement: Satire Famous Works: A Modest Proposal, A Tale of a Tub, Gulliver’s Travels   Profile: Jonathan Swift is regarded as the foremost prose satirist in the English language. During his life, he worked as an Anglo-Irish satirist, an essayist, and a political pamphleteer—for both the Whigs and the Tories. He was a poet, a cleric, and a startlingly prolific writer. Much of his work was originally...

Writer Profile: Oscar Wilde
Writer Profiles / 29/06/2018

Dates: b. 1854, d. 1900 Literary Movement: Victorian aestheticism Famous Works: The Importance of Being Earnest   Profile: Born Oscar Fingal O’Hahertie Wils Wilde, Oscar Wild was an Irish poet and playwright. He was born in Dublin, Ireland to Sir William Wilde and Jane Wilde and baptized as an infant in St. Mark’s Church. Until he was nine, Oscar Wilde was educated at home—a French bonne and a German governess taught him ...

Writer Profile: Seamus Heaney
Writer Profiles / 22/06/2018

Dates: b. 1939, d. 2013 Literary Movement: Modernism Famous Works: Death of a Naturalist, North, Field Work, The Spirit Level   Profile: A native of Northern Ireland, Seamus Heaney was raised in County Derry, Ireland. His family moved to Bellaghy, where he attended Anahorish Primary School. At age twelve, Heaney won a scholarship to St. Columb’s College, a Roman Catholic boarding school in Derry. Heaney’s younger brother, C...

Writer Profile: William Butler Yeats
Writer Profiles / 26/05/2018

Dates: b. 1865, d. 1939 Literary Movement: Late Victorian, Early Modernism Famous Works: The Tower, The Green Helmet, The Winding Stair   Profile: William Butler Yeats was born at Sandymount in County Dublin, Ireland to John Butler Yeats and Susan Mary Pollexfen. Yeats was raised as a member of the Protestant Ascendancy in a time when Ireland was experiencing a nationalist revival; this informed Yeats’ outlook on his heritage for...

Writer Profile: Edna O’Brien
Writer Profiles / 13/05/2018

Dates: b. 1930 Literary Movement: Realism Famous Works: Girl with Green Eyes, August Is a Wicked Month, The Country Girl   Profile: Edna O’Brien is a renowned Irish novelist, memoirist, playwright, poet, and short story writer. She was born in 1930 at Tuamgraney, County Clare, Ireland. O’Brien has described her mother as a strong, controlling woman who emigrated temporarily to America. She worked for some time as a maid in ...

Movement to Know: The Irish Middle Ages
Movement to Know / 29/01/2018

Unlike other contemporary English-speaking countries, Ireland has one of the oldest vernacular literatures in western Europe, following only Greek and Latin. Irish literacy flourished with the arrival of Christianity in the fifth century; before, the Irish had a simple writing system known now as “ogham.” This system was used primarily for inscriptions, but the introduction of Latin led to an adaptation of the Latin alphabet into th...

The Gilbert Schema
Resources / 23/01/2018

Immediately following the publication of Ulysses, James Joyce devised what is now known as the Gilbert Schema. The schema for the novel was intended to help Joyce’s friend, Stuart Gilbert, understand the fundamental structure of the book. Gilbert then published the guide within his James Joyce’s “Ulysses”: A Study in 1930. The original copy of the Gilbert schema is housed at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.   The sc...

Movement to Know: The Irish Literary Revival
Movement to Know / 12/01/2018

Also known as the Irish Literary Renaissance (nicknamed the “Celtic Twilight), this movement marked a flowering of Irish literary talent. The movement is associated with a simultaneous revival of interest in the country’s Gaelic heritage and growth of Irish nationalism in the middle of the 19th century. Early influences include James Clarence Mangan, a poet, and Samuel Ferguson, another poet, and Standish James O’Grady, a journali...