Silence in Modern Irish Literature


Volume Editor: Michael McAteer
Silence in Modern Irish Literature is the first book to focus exclusively on the treatment of silence in modern Irish literature. It reveals the wide spectrum of meanings that silence carries in modern Irish literature: a mark of historical loss, a form of resistance to authority, a force of social oppression, a testimony to the unspeakable, an expression of desire, a style of contemplation. This volume addresses silence in psychological, ethical, topographical, spiritual and aesthetic terms in works by a range of major authors including Yeats, Joyce, Beckett, Bowen and Friel.

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Michael McAteer, Ph.D. (1998), Queen’s University Belfast, is Associate Professor of English at Pázmány Péter University, Budapest. He has published extensively on Irish Literature, including Standish O’Grady, AE, Yeats (Irish Academic P, 2002); Yeats and European Drama (Cambridge UP, 2010).
"The breadth and brio of Silence in Modern Irish Literature ensue mainly from the contributors’ mastery of their field, from its concentration and coherence, and from its selection of prestigious Irish authors across the many genres, geotemporal divisions, national affiliation, religious dominations, and philosophical discourses."
- Ruben Moi, The Arctic University of Norway, in New Hibernia Review, Vol 21.3 (2017), pp. 155-158

"In its focus on gaps and ruptures in speech, Silence in Modern Irish Literature marks a unique and important contribution to Irish Studies, one that alters approaches to reading practices themselves by shifting the focus from what is articulated, to what remains unspoken, but which nevertheless conveys meaning."
- Bridget English, Études irlandaises, 42-2 (2017), pp. 154-156.

"Readers with an interest in modern Irish literature, modern drama, fiction and poetry; Postcolonial Studies, Gender Studies, and those interested in psychoanalytical and philosophical approaches to literature will find this a valuable and insightful collection."
- Robert Finnigan, University of Sunderland, in Estudios Irlandeses, (2018)
Read the full review:
“As this wide-ranging and often illuminating collection ably demonstrates, there is much to be said for attending to the role of silence in modern Irish literature. [T]he collection manages not only to reflect on the role of silence in Irish writing, but also to remedy silences in Irish literary historiography.”
-Lloyd (Meadhbh) Houston, in International Yeats Studies,” Vol. 2, Iss. 2, pp.69-73 (2018)
Michael McAteer

Part One — Psychologies of Silence

Michael McAteer
Silence as Disturbance in W. B. Yeats’s “How Ferencz Renyi Kept Silent”

Emilie Morin
Theatres and Pathologies of Silence: Symbolism and Irish Drama from Maeterlinck to Beckett

Heather Ingman
Silence, Language, and Power in Elizabeth Bowen’s Work

Aleksandra V. Jovanović
Narrative, Silence, and Psychosis in John Banville’s The Book of Evidence

Part Two — Ethics of Silence

Willa Murphy
Ritualized Silence and Secret Selves: The Seal of the Confessional in Nineteenth Century Ireland

Mark McGahon
Silence, Justice, and the Différend in Joyce’s Ulysses

Benjamin Keatinge
Silence as Testimony in Samuel Beckett and Derek Mahon

Alessandra Boller
Women, Violence, and Silence: Roddy Doyle’s The Woman Who Walked Into Doors

Part Three — Places of Silence

Márta Pellérdi
Silence and Displacement in Ivan Turgenev and George Moore

Anne Fogarty
“The gentle thread of the little voice:” Silence, Sexuality, and Subjectivity in Kate O’Brien’s The Land of Spices

Stephanie Schwerter
Between Silence and Re-narration: Translating Signs of Belfast’s Urban Space

Part Four — Spirits of Silence

Keith Hopper
“Silent, so to speak:” Flann O’Brien and the Sense of an Ending

Thierry Robin
Variations on Silence in Dermot Healy’s A Fool’s Errand

Virginie Roche-Tiengo
The Voices of the Dead and the Silence of the Living in Brian Friel’s Drama

Notes on Contributors
All interested in modern Irish literature, European Modernist literature (Yeats, Joyce, Beckett, Flann O’Brien), Modern Drama, Postcolonial Studies, Gender Studies, and anyone concerned with psychoanalytical and philosophical approaches to literature.