By Glenda Norquay, Gerry Smyth
Around the Margins bargains a comparative, theoretically educated research of the cultural formation of the Atlantic Archipelago. In its total belief and in particular contributions, this assortment demonstrates some great benefits of operating around the disciplines of historical past, geography, literature, and cultural reviews. It additionally provides new configurations of cultural types hitherto linked to particularly nationwide and sub-national literatures.
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Extra resources for Across The Margins: Cultural Identity and Change in the Atlantic Archipelago
In Ireland, the politics of pronunciation is much more problematic. There is a double bind, and Longley points to it, perhaps unwittingly. Unionist writers, in their desire to be British, underplay Ulster Scots, Norquay_02_Ch1 21 22/3/02, 9:43 am 22 Theorising identities or, if they promote it, they do so for political rather than cultural reasons: ‘The inflated and politicised claims made for Scots, which copy Sinn Féin’s exploitation of the Irish language, both discredit a real case and epitomise the selective unionist use of Scotland’ (1997: 114).
From O’Rourke 1994: 146) Herbert hails from Dundee, a city which itself has a long and complicated history of Irish immigration and trade links with the Indian subcontinent; his views on language are worth quoting at length: My experience of being Scottish in England was the discovery of suppressed contrasts. Unlike Ireland, Scotland is not supposed to be ‘different’ or ‘foreign’. It is the country which is not quite a country, possessing a language which is not really a language. To use only English or Scots, then, seems to cover up some aspect of our experience, to ‘lie’.
Like others too he laments the loss of Irish and upholds the idea of an oral tradition, yet still he opts in the end for a language that by and large uses an Irish accent only for comic effect or to represent speech. The narrative voice remains resolutely anglicised. ’ (FitzSimon 1998: 186) This is a good question, and while the power of the Church, the history of colonialism, and the ill-fated experiments of Protestant playwrights may constitute the beginnings of an answer, it is worth attending to McCabe’s immediate response: you describe and then suddenly you’re back into God-mode, you know, the omnipotent narrator sort of stuff and you think ‘Ah, this is wrong’ … there does certainly seem to be a sense where the scholastic, dispassionate prose has disconnected you, or you don’t want to be connected with the real pain of life or the real joy of life.
Across The Margins: Cultural Identity and Change in the Atlantic Archipelago by Glenda Norquay, Gerry Smyth