Module Identifier EN38120  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr Luke A Thurston  
Semester Intended for use in future years  
Next year offered N/A  
Next semester offered N/A  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   10 x 2hrs  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment ESSAY1: 2500 WORDS  50%
Semester Assessment ESSAY 2 : 2500 WORDS  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements. Where this involves re-submission of work, a new topic must be selected. 

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

1. Describe and appraise the main themes and problems of modern Irish literature

2. Interrelate the set texts in terms of tradition, influence and divergence

3. Discuss different links between history, cultural identity and literary texts

4. Comment critically on the material chosen for study

5. Write about the subject in a well-structured and argued manner

6. Engage in coherent oral discussion of the texts and background material

Brief description

Before the Celtic Revival of the early twentieth century re-launched the creative impetus of Irish literature, the political force and ancient tradition of that literature were almost crushed by British imperial domination. This module explores the politics and poetics of the Revival, the cultural ambiguity of Irish Modernism, and the impact of the traumatic political history of modern Ireland on contemporary writing.


1. Introduction: Irish Literature and Politics
2. Imagining Ireland: Yeats (I)
   W B Yeats The Wind Among the Reeds
3.   Poetry and the Nation: Yeats (II)
   W B Yeats The Tower
4. Staging the Irish Revival: Synge
J.M. Synge The Playboy of the Western World
5. Modernism and Exile (I): Joyce
   J. Joyce Ulysses (excerpts)
6. Modernism and Exile (II): Beckett
S. Beckett Waiting for Godot
7. Radicalism and Tradition: OCasey
S. O.Casey Juno and the Paycock
8. Modern Ireland and Poetry: Kavanagh and Heaney
P. Kavanagh The Great Hunger; S. Heaney - North
9. Re-imagining Ireland: Friel
   B. Friel, Translations
10. Contemporary Irish Writing: Brennan, Meaney
   M. Brennan, The Springs of Affection; G. Meaney, Counterpoints

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Bolger, D (ed) The New Picador Book of Contemporary Irish Fiction Picador
Friel, B Translations Faber
Heaney, S North Faber
Kavanagh,P Collected Poems MacGibbon & Kee
** Supplementary Text
Castle, Gregory (May 2001) Modernism and the Celtic Revival 052179319X
Corcoran, Neil. (1997.) After Yeats and Joyce :reading modern Irish literature /Neil Corcoran. 0192892312
Donoghue, Denis. (1971.) Yeats.
Ellman, Richard (1982) James Joyce Oxford University Press
(2003.) The Cambridge companion to contemporary Irish poetry /edited by Matthew Campbell. 0521012457
(1998.) The Oxford companion to Irish history /edited by S. J. Connolly. 0192116959
(1949) Yeats, the Man and the Masks Faber
Gibbons, Luke. (1996.) Transformations in Irish culture /Luke Gibbons. 1859180590
Kiberd, Declan. (1996, c1995.) Inventing Ireland : the literature of the modern nation /Declan Kiberd. 009958221X
MacDonagh, Thomas (1996.) Literature in Ireland : studies Irish & Anglo-Irish /Thomas MacDonagh. 0946327165
Mercier, Vivian. (1994.) Modern Irish literature :sources and founders /Vivian Mercier ; edited and presented by Eil is Dillon. 0198120745
Thurston, Luke. (2004.) James Joyce and the problem of psychoanalysis /Luke Thurston. 0521835909
(1991.) Modern Irish drama /edited by John P. Harrington. 0393960633
(1996.) The Oxford companion to Irish literature /edited by Robert Welch, assistant editor, Bruce Stewart. 0198661584
(1989.) The Oxford illustrated history of Ireland /edited by R. F. Foster.


This module is at CQFW Level 6