Shakespeare, memory, and modern Irish literature

By Nicholas Taylor-Collins

Shakespeare, memory, and modern Irish literature


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4961-9
  • Pages: 328
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: December 2022
  • BIC Category: Early Modern Literature, Theatre Studies, Literary studies: plays & playwrights, LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, LITERARY CRITICISM / Shakespeare, Literature & literary studies / Literary theory, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers, Literature & literary studies / Shakespeare studies & criticism


This original and innovative book proposes 'dismemory' as a new form of intertextual engagement with Shakespeare by modern and contemporary Irish writers. Through reflection on these canonical writers and ranging across thirteen Shakespeare plays, Taylor-Collins demonstrates how Irish writers who helped to fashion and critique the Irish nation state carry an indelible, if often subdued, mark of Shakespeare's early modern English influence.

The volume overall renews and revitalises the Shakespeare-modern Ireland connection: Taylor-Collins reveals Hamlet's hauntological legacy in Playboy of the Western World, Ulysses, and Ghosts; how the corporal economies that exert pressure from Coriolanus and Ben Jonson flicker through to the antiheroes in Beckett's Three Novels; and how the landed legacies of territorial contests in Shakespeare are engaged with in Yeats's poetry, and similarly how the diseased muddiness in Hamlet is addressed by Heaney.


Introduction: Remembering memory
Part I: Ghosts
1 'Go on from this': J. M. Synge's Playboy
2 'Remember me': Hamlet, memory and Bloom's poiesis
3 'Someone wholly other': John Banville's Ghosts
Part II: Bodies
4 '[M]y genius for forgetting': Samuel Beckett's theatrical bodies
5 'Kate had herself sterilized': O'Brien's self-disciplining bodies
Part III: Land
6 '[R]ights of memory': Yeats, surface and counter-memory
7 '[D]ithering, blathering': Heaney, the diseased word-hoard, and the Historian
Conclusion: 'I disremember'
Reference List


Nicholas Taylor-Collins is Senior Lecturer of English at Cardiff Metropolitan University

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