View Full Version : Exile in Irish Literature
I wish to introduce myself, I am new in the forum and this is my first thread.
I wanted to ask for your help.
I am a student in a Spanish University, at present I am following this
post-graduate course about exile in Irish literature.
I have to do an essay about this topic, I have to analyze a literary
text focusing on the topic of exile.
I was wondering if you could recommend me an Irish short story dealing
with this topic.
It has to be fiction. I was thinking about something like Angela's
ashes, some story about the migration of the Irish to the states, but
a short story will be easier to analyze...
Many thanks for your time and your help!
Does it have to specifically be Irish literature? The reason I ask is the book that immediately jumps to mind - I Could Read The Sky by Timothy O'Grady - is by an American, but deals with the life of Irish exiles to Britain. There's a thread on it here (http://www.worldliteratureforum.com/forum/americas-literature/32-timothy-ogrady-i-could-read-sky.html).
There's a chapter in The Tain - Exile of the sons of Uisliu, which you might be interested in. The Tain is a translation of the Old Irish epic, The Tain Bo Cuailnge (the cattle raid of Cooley), by Thomas Kinsella. It is the oldest literature in the vernacular in Europe. Full of intensity and imagination, it is the epic of Cuchulainn, the most famous of Ireland's legendary heros.
J.M. Synge based a play on this chapter of the Tain, called Deirdre of the Sorrows. It fits right in with his other works which deal with tramps, tinkers and generally free spirits who choose a life in the wilderness over civilisation.
There is also a minor work of James Joyce, a play called Exiles. I haven't read it yet so I cant say what its about but maybe it's what you're looking for.
Hope this is helpful.
There is a book that I mentioned in another post elsewhere, a collection of short stories called 'In Exile' by an Irish writer, Billy O'Callaghan. I read it last year and really enjoyed it. There was a wide range of stories, many of which were excellent, and they all touched, in one way or another, on the theme of exile. The title story in particular was very moving.
I'm not sure how easily you will track it down, but you'll probably find it on amazon. Hope this helps.
nice to see another Corkonian on the forums, anchomal.
It's not fiction, but Patrick Ward's "Exile, Emigration and Irish Writing" is a choice for theory and would support your arguments as well as pointing you in the direction of a suitable text. M?ir?n Nic Eoin also has an excellent Irish-language text "Tr?n bhFearann Breac - An D?l?ithri? Cult?ir agus Nualitr?ocht na Gaeilge" (Cultural Displacement in Modern Gaelic Literature) For translations from Irish, D?nall Mac Amhlaigh's "Schnitzer O'Shea" (Fiction), "An Irish Navvy" (Memoir) - possibly some of the best examples of "dwelling-in-displacement" as James Clifford would put it. Mac Amhlaigh wrote almost exclusively about the notion of exile. Prionsias Mac Cana's "The Learned Tales of Medieval Ireland" will give you much of what you need to know about ancient tales of exile as suggested by David J. "Longes" was the original term for exile or banishment. Hope this helps.:)
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