This volume is based on the seventh triennial conference of the International Association for the Study of Anglo-Irish Literature, held in July 1988 at the University of Ulster, Coleraine, Co.Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The international reputation and appeal of Irish literature are reflected in the fact that the contributors are from all corners of the world, North America, Europe, Scandinavia, Africa and India.
The collection reveals the extraordinary influence that Ireland has had on world literature, especially as a model for colonial and nationalist cultures. A host of Irish writers, particularly dramatists, has been translated and adapted in countries attracted to the individuality as well as the universality of their themes. Very often, the outsiders' insight into Irish literature shows a directness and sensitivity which are most illuminating and instructive.
A revelation of this collection is the way so many Irish writers have embraced, and been deeply influenced by, the culture of other nations: important new documentary work on writers such as Maria Edgeworth, W.B.Yeats, George Russell and Derek Mahon are to be found here.
The collection is both a celebration of a truly internationalised field of study, and a tribute to a literature which has successfully emigrated throughout the world. These essays will interest all those, students and scholars alike, who recognise the value of culture and literary pluralism, and the importance of comparative studies.
For over forty years IASAIL, now the Interantional Association for the Study of Irish Literatures (IASIL), has done pioneering work in this field. By now, it may be said, Ireland has taken its rightful place amongst the literatures of the world.
At the time of publication Joseph McMinn was Senior Lecturer in the English Department of the University of Ulster at Jordanstown, near Belfast. He has taught in American and Germany, and his publications include John Banville: A Critical Study, Jonathan Swift: A Literary Life and, as editor, Swift's Irish Pamphlets: An Introductory Selection, all three books being published in 1991. He is presently working on an illustrated documentary of Swift's travels around Ireland.More info →