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Strange CountryModernity and Nationhood in Irish Writing since 1790$
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Seamus Deane

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198184904

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198184904.001.0001

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Boredom and Apocalypse a National Paradigm

Boredom and Apocalypse a National Paradigm

(p.145) FOUR Boredom and Apocalypse a National Paradigm
Strange Country

Seamus Deane

Oxford University Press

This chapter readdresses the issue of reconciliation of the cultural with the economic spheres of a culture that is taken to be counter-revolutionary and anti-theoretical in its traditional but threatened form. It suggests that the pursuit of such a reconciliation provides a paradigm for Irish writing in the nineteenth century; one of the discursive formations that paradigm produces is a renovated version of a national character that must, by a variety of procedures, political and cultural, be disciplined into such sobriety of behaviour as would be in accord with the requirements of economic progress. The discussion argues that, in order to be understood, Ireland must be split between the rational and the national. The country remains strange in its failure to be normal; the normal remains strange in its failure to be defined as anything other than the negative of strange.

Keywords:   boredom, Apocalypse, Irish history, Second Coming, Ireland, Edmund Burke

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