Monday, March 28, 2011

Writing Ireland's working class

An interesting-looking new book:

Michael Pierse, "Writing Ireland's working class: Dublin after O'Casey" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).

As a social other, Ireland's urban working class inhabits a 'non-place' in the national narrative, a place beset by galling levels of poverty and low social mobility. Its exclusion is not just social and economic, but cultural as well. Working-class Dublin in particular elicits little good press, and less in terms of academic commentary or cultural appreciation, so where and how does it appear in literature? Exploring the fiction and plays of this marginalised community after Sean O'Casey, this book breaks new ground in Irish Studies scholarship, charting alternative directions for academic research and unearthing submerged narratives in the history of Irish culture. Most of the works examined have received little or no critical commentary to date, yet this book makes a compelling case for their centrality to the history and appreciation of Irish literature. From O'Casey to Roddy Doyle, a rich tapestry of urban life is illuminated and explored, which presents a robust challenge to stereotyped and staid views of Irish life and literature.


The shadow of Sean
Angry Young Men - Class Injuries and Masculinity
From Rocking the Cradle to Rocking the System - Writing Working-Class Women
Industry and the City - Workers in Struggle
Prison Stories - Writing Dublin at its Limits
Return of the Oppressed - Sexual Repression, Culture and Class
Revising the Revolution: Roddy Doyle's A Star Called Henry, Historiography, Politics and Proletarian Consciousness

1 comment:

  1. "Sometimes books cross your path in which love and scholarship come together. Pierse writes about the culture of the neglected Dublin urban working class with passion and timeliness. […] This sparkling book will change the scope of Irish studies." – Professor Sally R. Munt, Times Higher Education

    Writing Ireland’s Working Class “deserves to be read by anyone interested not only in Irish cultural studies, but also in the shape and flow of class dynamics within Irish society [… It] has provided a strong, cogent analysis from which future debates and discussions can develop and grow. […] It’s a marvelous achievement, insightful and provocative, for which Pierse richly deserves our praise and thanks.” – Dr Conor McCabe, Irish Left Review