Philip O'Leary is Professor in the Department of English at Boston College.
This is the second volume of a two-part collection following on from O'Leary's "Gaelic Prose in the Irish Free State 1922-1939". The first part, "Irish Interior: Keeping Faith with the Past in Gaelic Prose, 1940-1951", was published in 2010. "Writing Beyond the Revival" explores the evolving ideology that inspired the successful campaign of writers such as Ciaran and Brian O Nuallain, and Cathal O Sandair for artistic independence from the restrictive demands of the language revival. The real progress made by writers such as Seamus O Neill with "Tonn Tuile" (1947) and Tarlach O hUid in his story collection "Taobh Thall den Teorainn" (1950) are also examined. The book includes a detailed discussion of Gaelic theatre when, under the direction of Ernest Blythe, the Abbey made the development and performance of Irish-language scripts a central element in its national mission. In revealing the vast output of writing in Irish for non-Irish readers, Philip O'Leary provides an invaluable guide for anyone studying or interested in the literature, languages, society and politics of Ireland.
- Facing the Future
The Language Itself Is for All Ireland
- Debates and Controversies
Comparable in Conception with Any Language at All
- Modernising Irish
Light and Entertaining Books that the Public Would Like
- Popular Literature in Irish
Escaping the Rural Ghetto
- Gaelic Prose and the City
Tons of Wasted Paper? The Question of Translation
Swallow'd in the Conqueror's Chronicle? Gaelic Attitudes towards Irish Literature in English
Quite Exceptional Handicaps and Difficulties
- Issues in Gaelic Drama
Taking the Tedium Out of the Medium
- Gaelic Variety Shows, Pantomimes, Plays and Movies
- Writing Beyond the Revival
'The achievements of Irish writers writing in English are known and celebrated the world over. But almost nobody outside Ireland knows anything about those who have worked in the nation’s first language. Even at home Gaelic literature is very rarely read, except – often unenthusiastically – in schools and colleges. Must we conclude that all the writers who stuck to Gaelic are failures?
The book under review is the penultimate volume of an ambitious and most valuable project, a complete survey of prose written in Gaelic from 1880 to 1950 ... O’Leary believes that, partly as a result of the false starts and controversies afflicting their efforts in the 40s and early 50s, the best writers of Gaelic rose to the challenge. Between them they all offered enough ‘intellectual sustenance’ to give both the language and its literature a reason to advance with some optimism into the modern age.
And finally, for those of us who feel that reading volumes in the English language may be more a duty than a pleasure, it is good to report that this fascinating book is written entirely in English.'
The Irish Catholic
18 August 2011