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The Location of the New Ireland: Redefinitions of Memory and Belonging in Sebastian Barry’s The Secret Scripture and Hugo Hamilton’s Hand in the Fire
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, English.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8434-1747
2010 (English)In: 7th NISN conference (Nordic Irish Studies Network), University of Tromsö, Norway, 2010Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

At the beginning of 2010 Julian Gough, one of the new generation of Irish writers, commenced in his blog a controversy on what he referred to as the backwardness” of the modern Irish literary novel. Gough lamented that many contemporary awardwinning Irish novels seemed to be anchored in the past and displayed a reluctance to grapple with modern themes and issues affecting contemporary Ireland. While a rapid examination of the Irish novels published by established Irish writers during the Celtic and post-Celtic Tiger era shows a great concern with the past, it is questionable that this preoccupation is unrelated to these writers’ present circumstances. As a number of sociologists and historians, such as Maurice Halbwachs, Paul Ricoeur and Pierre Nora, have suggested, memory, “subject to the dialectic of remembering and forgetting” (Nora 1996: 3), is as much influenced by external socio-historical processes as by internal psychological circumstances occurring at the individual level. The aim of this paper is to contend that Sebastian Barry’s The Secret Scripture and Hugo Hamilton’s Hand in the Fire show how the processes of remembrance and forgetting, crucial in the formation of a national sense of identity at the turn of the twentieth century, are reexamined thereby contributing to the construction of a multifaceted image of the new Ireland. In the context of the growing emphasis on Irish multiculturalism as a result of the growth in migration to Ireland that occurred during the Celtic Tiger era, Barry and Hamilton’s novels show, through the eyes of three narrators marked by various experiences of transculturalism, how the trope of memory is crucial to understanding contemporary formations of belonging in modern Ireland.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
University of Tromsö, Norway, 2010.
National Category
Specific Literatures
Research subject
Intercultural Studies, Transcultural Identities: The Construction of Identity in Cultural Encounters
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-5455OAI: oai:dalea.du.se:5455DiVA: diva2:522280
Conference
7th NISN conference (Nordic Irish Studies Network), University of Tromsö, Norway, 2-3 December, 2010
Available from: 2011-03-22 Created: 2011-03-22 Last updated: 2016-12-14Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf