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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Englische Sprachwissenschaft / Literaturwissenschaft
In Irish fiction, the most famous example of the embrace of damnation in order to gain freedom—politically, religiously, and creatively—is Joyce’s Stephen Dedalus. His "non serviam," though, is not just the profound rebellion of one frustrated young man, but, as Brivic demonstrates in this sweeping account of twentieth-century Irish fiction, the emblematic and necessary standpoint for any
artist wishing to envision something truly new. Revolutionary fervor is what allowed a country with a population lower than that of Connecticut to produce so many of the greatest writers of the twentiety century.
Because Irish culture was largely dictated by the Catholic Church and its conservatism, the most ambitious Irish writers, like Joyce, Beckett, and the ten others Brivic presents here, saw the advantages of damnation and seized them, rejecting powerful norms of church, state, and culture, as well as of literary form, voice, and character, to produce some of the most radical work of the twentieth century. Brivic links the work of writers such as Flann O’Brien, Patrick McCabe, and Anne Enright to the theories of Alain Badiou. His mathematical procedure for distinguishing what is truly innovative informs the progressive political and philosophical thrust that these writers at their best carry on from Joyce and Beckett to unfold a fierce tradition that extends into the twenty-first century.
literary criticism, Irish studies