Philip O'Leary is Professor in the Department of English at Boston College
This is the first volume of a two-part collection following on from O'Leary's "Gaelic Prose in the Irish Free State 1922-1939". Although the 1940s are often seen as a period of lowered post-Renaissance expectations for Irish writers of English, they were years of considerable creative ferment for writers of Irish. Virtually nothing has been written about writing in Irish during and just after the Second World War. "Irish Interior" explores the issues within, but not strictly confined to the cultural nationalism of the language movement. O'Leary draws on a wide range work, exploring writers including Seamus O Grianna, Sean Mac Maolain and Padraig O Siochfradha. The study concludes with a discussion of Mairtin O Cadhain and Brian O Nuallain, who consciously subverted the dominant elegiac or idealising paradigms in their treatment of the Gaeltacht.
- Challenging Times for Small Mac Small
The Quest for the Holy Gael
- Threatened Authenticity in a Changing Ireland
The Fragrance and Flavour of the Old Times
- Ruralism in Gaelic Prose
Waves of Past and Future
- Imagining the Gaeltacht
The Way of Our Being as We Be
- Gaelic Approaches to History
A Vacuum instead of History
- Gaelic Writings on the Irish Past from Prehistory to 1700
6 Ireland Born Anew as a Nation
- Gaelic Writings on Irish History, 1800-1923
A Largely Ignored History
- Gaelic Writings on Revival, Social, Cultural, Local and International History
Main Routes of Interior Irish History
- Gaelic Views of Earlier Irish Literature
'It is not "about" the Gaeltacht, it is about people'
- Mairtin O Cadhain, 'Myles na gCopaleen', and the Flight of the Living Dead
‘O’Leary is a professor in the Department of English at Boston College and among other things was co-editor of the Cambridge History of Irish Literature. In this book he turns his attention to what he considers to be a significant decade in Irish literature. The common perception is that the 1940s was a low period for Irish culture in general and for writers in particular. However, while O’Leary concedes that this may have been true for writers in English he contends that it was a vibrant and rich period for those who wrote in Irish. For this study he looks mainly but not exclusively at Gaelic writing in the context of cultural nationalism. … O’Leary highlights the variety of opinions expressed and styles engaged with by Irish writers and shows how their views were often at variance with those of official Ireland. He argues too that writers with Irish displayed a breadth of vision and knowledge of Europe in what they wrote. A second volume, Writing Beyond the Revival on the same period, is due next year.’
'The current volume has maintained the scholarly standard and painstakingly meticulous research which earned earlier installments such high praise. … This book, like its predecessors, is much more than an examination of a literary genre. It is more than a socio-historical examination of the Irish language movement. It is a painstaking and meticulous survey of the intellectual and cultural history of Ireland; the simultaneous breadth and depth of the work means that a review such as this can only ever be painted in broad brushstrokes. …one can only await the final volume in this series with the expectation that it will live up to the high standard of previous volumes. O’Leary has done yet another great service to Irish literature.'
Irish Studies Review 20 (3) 2012