By Glenda Norquay, Gerry Smyth
Around the Margins deals a comparative, theoretically expert research of the cultural formation of the Atlantic Archipelago. In its total belief and in particular contributions, this assortment demonstrates the advantages of operating around the disciplines of background, geography, literature, and cultural stories. It additionally provides new configurations of cultural kinds hitherto linked to in particular nationwide and sub-national literatures.
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Additional info for Across The Margins: Cultural Identity and Change in the Atlantic Archipelago
Its putative and everpromised achievement carries with it the death of ‘Ireland’ as foundation; in its promise to ‘place a reassuring end to the reference from sign to sign’ it carries the fear of turning ‘Ireland’ into real ‘presence’. Through its articulation ‘Ireland’ is not the effective end-point of a narrative, despite the constant futurity of a notional set of Irelands in the realm of the political. The transcendent ‘Ireland’, which accommodates all statements about Ireland, slips out of time before it can be entrapped, and thus avoids collapsing the trope of narration.
Other writers – like Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Nan Shepherd, Marion Angus, Violet Jacob and Neil Gunn – cultivated Scots in influential ways. And in any case, MacDiarmid did instil confidence in the Scots tongue. Does Longley share the scorn of ‘Nationalist Irish-language enthusiasts’ for ‘the creole dialects of English’? Longley concludes that distance from the domestic scene gives rise to a cultivated nostalgia: ‘Since Heaney, Deane and Paulin no longer live in Northern Ireland, it may be inevitable that they should fall into the tropes of stylised retrospect’ (1991: 652).
Dunn 1992: 336) Irish writers with strong accents that are absent from their work do not appear to see the irony. Hyper correction, the tendency to overcompensate for any possible accented deviation from the perceived standard; downright snobbery; lip service to an oral tradition that they overlook in favour of a scholastic style, a preferred academic mode that will get them recognition beyond their shores, and to hell with the homeys. Old English in new clothing, more sermon than song. Accents allowed for funny stuff and light-hearted interludes, for dialogue and quaint colloquial colour.