The Irish Literary Revival

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Irish Literary Revival was an enormously important movement in the history of Ireland for the works of that time continue to influence many authors to this day. The exact date of the beginning of the Revival is rather indeterminate, however, it is considered to emerge around the period of 1880-1890. Felton describes the movement in words “The Revival drew together many of Ireland’s finest writers and scholars in an effort to rejuvenate an Irish literary and cultural tradition that been subverted by hundreds of years of British political domination” (2007:4). The movement started to disappear in the 1920s.
The roots of Irish Literary Revival can be found in the Romanticism, specifically in the two Celtic Revivals which took place in the late
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According to Felton, the Literary Revival “emerged out of ashes of a political failure: a scandal that toppled one of Ireland's most beloved politicians, Charles Stewart Parnell, in 1890” (2007:7-8). The scandal concerns Parnell's affair with Katherine, wife of Captain William O'Shea. The events deprived Parnell of his powerful status in Irish Parliament, however, many of his followers continued to work for Irish culture. Seeing the arts and the humanities as a crucial area through which the Irish identity and eventually independence can be gained, culture started to thrive. Douglas Hyde, the first President of Ireland and the first president of Gaelic League, is certainly one of the most prominent activists. Being the author of the collection of Irish folk stories, he contributed substantially to the attempts in reviving the Irish language and his works inspired many writers after him (Felton…show more content…
The best example of such case is a crucial for the movement involvement of Lady Augusta Gregory whose works and translations enriched immensely the Irish literature. Similarly, William Butler Yeats and John Synge, both had Protestant Anglo-Irish backround. Greene and Stephens describe it in words: “one of the ironies of the Irish Literary Revival was that it was founded by people whose origins were not Celtic and whose knowledge of the tradition they were attempting to identify themselves with was slight indeed” (1959:97). Used as main themes in vast amount of literature from that time, Celtic tradition and Irish situation were frequently simply an inspiration for creating works, however with time they began to be exploited for nationalistic purposes, regardless of the original intention of the
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