Irish Modernism

Carol Taaffe

in The Oxford Handbook of Modernisms

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199545445
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

Irish Modernism

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  • Literature
  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)
  • Literary Studies (Postcolonial Literature)



This article examines the history of Irish modernism. It argues that the contested position of modernism in Irish culture might be dramatized by a tale of two James Joyces. One is the internationalist Joyce, the deracinated modernist who was considered to have become European and modern to the extent that he transcended his Irishness; and the other is the Irish Joyce who has more recently emerged from the confluence of post-colonialism and Irish studies. The article argues that while a canon of Irish modernism clearly exists, its central importance to international developments can seem to draw it away from the Irish context, in which a broader culture of modernism is less self-evident.

Keywords: Irish modernism; Irish culture; James Joyce; post-colonialism; Irish studies

Article.  7865 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (20th Century onwards) ; Literary Studies (Postcolonial Literature)

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