Time Map

Weeks 1 and 2: Early Irish storytelling [28.02-7.03]

The cycles; the manuscripts; the stories. The Mythological Cycle: the Tuatha Dé Danann, the Milesians. The Ulster Cycle: Macha, Maeve, Cú Chulainn, Connacht and Ulster in The Táin. The Fenian / Ossianic Cycle. Fionn Mac Cool and the Fianna, Oisín and Caoilte, the voyage tales: Oisín in the Land of the Youth. The Historical / King Cycle: the buile motif and The Madness of Sweeney.

Workshop 1: The Táin: prowess, supremacy and mythical avatars of the fabled Irish hero.

Bibliography: Heaney 65-154. Ganz 1-27. Flower 1-23, Wright 17-38. Kelleher and O’Leary, vol. 1, 50 and 637-643. Dooley (passim).

Week 3: Poetry in medieval and early modern Ireland (6th-18th centuries) [14.03]

The socio-political context. Early Irish poetry, the metrical system: accentuated verse, syllabic verse, rhyme. Religious poetry and monastic schools. Non-religious poetry. Bardic schools. Poetic function and status, the condition of the poet and the decline of Irish traditional poetry. Socio-political poetry, Jacobite poetry: the aisling.

Bibliography: Kinsella 140-167, Greene and O’Connor 1-17, Flower 24-66, 267-106. Wright, vol. 1, 57-107. O’Leary, vol.1 282-319.

Weeks 4 and 5: Anglo-Irish Prose in modern Ireland (18th-19th centuries) [21-28.03]

The socio-political context. Ireland and imported culture: the Irish locale, the search for expression and authenticity. Trends and themes: the condition of Ireland writings, the regional novel and the big house. William Carleton, Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry. Maria Edgeworth: Castle Rackrent. Somerville and Ross: Some Experiences of an Irish R. M. Authenticity and / or imagery and the Irish Gothic: Sheridan Le Fanu, In a Glass Darkly: ‘Carmilla’ and Bram Stoker, Dracula.

Workshop 2: Sights and voices of the world beyond: Emily Gerard, ‘Transylvanian Superstitions’ and Bram Stoker, Dracula.

Bibliography: Kelleher and O’Leary, vol. 2, 421-452. Foster 196 and 356-363, Wright, vol. 1, 367-369, Turley Houston 112-131. Davison 41-48, 49-76 and 77-123. O’Leary, vol.1 232-281.

Weeks 6 and 7: The Irish Literary Revival [4-11.04]

The Gaelic Revival as forerunner. Directions, ideas, literary societies and representatives, emblems, opponents. Dr Douglas Hyde, ‘The Necessity for De-Anglicising Ireland’. The new Irish theatre and the role of W.B. Yeats. Lady Augusta Gregory, Gods and Fighting Men. John Millington Synge, the authentic Irish: The Aran Islands; the parody of stereotypes and unsentimental representation of Ireland: The Playboy of the Western World.

Workshop 3: Emptiness of tradition and subversion of Irishness in John Millington Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World.

Bibliography: Kelleher and O’Leary, vol. 2, 134-140. Holderman 36-40. Worrall 15-32. Benson 18-50 and 112-137. Greene 19-40 and 132-145. Matthews 31-39, 52-63.

Weeks 8 and 9: The Irish Classics – W.B. Yeats [18-25.04]

Aesthetic principles and perspectives. Philosophy: A Vision. Political poems: ‘September 1913’ and ‘Easter Rising 1916’. The Coole Park poems: ‘The Wild Swans at Coole’ and ‘Coole Park’. The cosmogonic / philosophical poems: ‘The Second Coming’ and ‘Leda and the Swan’. The Byzantium poems: ‘Sailing to Byzantium’ and ‘Byzantium’.

Workshop 4: Representations of the un-representable in Yeats’s art: the Byzantium poems.

Bibliography: Holderman 21-23, 60-61, 73-77, 66-70, 82-83 and 96-98. Komesu 77-78. Howes and Kelly 59-76, 129-144, 144-167, 185-206, and 27-28, 78-70, 126-127, 82-83, 91-93.

Weeks 10 and 11: The Irish Classics – James Joyce [8-15.05]

James Joyce. Joyce’s kind of Ireland in Dubliners: A Painful Case’, ‘The Dead’. The prototype and the condition of the creative artist in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Avatars of Ulysses and the Homeric story in Ulysses: mythical realism, the motif of the quest, the narrative technique: the customised interior monologue. The Joycean text in the ‘Lestrygonians’ episode.

Workshop 5: From inertness to intentness in James Joyce’s ‘The Dead’ and Ulysses.

Bibliography: Bulson 32-46, 47-63 and 71-91. Attridge 28-48, 87-103, 103-122 and 122-148. Wright 98-112. Kelleher and O’Leary, vol. 2, 145-152.

Week 12: End-of-term test [23.05]