Unauthorized Versions: Irish Menippean Satire, 1919-1952

Unauthorized Versions: Irish Menippean Satire, 1919-1952

By: Jose Lanters (author)Hardback

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Certain moments in history, especially periods of cultural turmoil and political change, appear to be conducive to the writing of Menippean satire. This text offers an integral study of Menippean satires written in Ireland in the three decades following the declaration of the Irish Free State in 1922. It discusses works by Darrell Figgis, Eimar O'Duffy, Austin Clarke, Flann O'Brien and Mervyn Wall in the context of political and social developments, particularly relating to economic policy, the role of the Church and censorship. Mikhail Bakhtin defines Menippean satire as an unresolved dialogue between actual and/or implied voices to test a truth or philosophical idea. The Irish satirists of the first half of the 20th century use mediaeval Ireland as a setting for addressing contemporary concerns, or borrow characters from mediaeval Irish texts that they place in a modern context. Each satire thus creates a series of dialogues: between the past and present; between characters who represent opposing values and ideologies; and between the older texts and their modern reworkings. This study reveals the double bind at the core of every Menippean satire. Each writer discussed in the book expresses an awareness of the paradox of an author writing in the vaccuum created by official censorship, seeking to engage his audience in the dethroning of the very authorities by whom he is deprived of his audience. By revealing his own ambiguous position, the satirist knowingly subverts his own authority along with that of his opponents. This study should be useful to students and scholars interested in Irish literature, genre studies, the reception of the Middle Ages, and the relationship betwen literature and history.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780813209869
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 304
  • ID: 9780813209869
  • ISBN10: 0813209862

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