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Picture of Writing from the Margins

Writing from the Margins

The Aesthetics of Disruption in the Irish Short Story

Editor(s): Catriona Ryan

Book Description

The Irish short story tradition occupies a unique space in world literature. Rooted in an ancient oral storytelling culture, the Irish short story has underwent numerous transitions, from 19th century Anglo-Irish writers such as William Carleton through to the 20th century’s groundbreaking impact of George Moore’s The Untilled Field. George Moore’s work inspired the next generation of Irish Catholic writers such as Joyce, Frank O’Connor and Benedict Kiely, who foregrounded the backbone of the mainstream Irish short story literary canon.

There is, however, another dimension to the short story tradition in Ireland that has always been overlooked. Led by Samuel Beckett, and including the work of Aidan Higgins and Tom Mac Intyre, this other marginalized tradition has had a consistently invisible presence in the Irish literary tradition. These three short story writers mark an alternative avant-garde movement in the culture of the modern Irish short story. The works of Beckett, Higgins and Mac Intyre share an aesthetics of disruption which is marked in different ways by the subversion of form and through narrative, linguistic and thematic deconstructive devices. There is currently a resurgent research interest in the Irish short story, and this book is the first to highlight an area of Irish short story writing which has been woefully neglected.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-7085-6
ISBN-10: 1-4438-7085-4
Date of Publication: 01/02/2015
Pages / Size: 145 / A5
Price: £41.99


Dr Catriona Ryan is a poet, theorist and academic author. In 2012, she published a monograph with Cambridge Scholars on the experimental prose and theatre of Tom Mac Intyre, which was described by Professor Willy Maley (Glasgow University) as a “pioneering work of criticism.” She created a new critical theory, paleo-postmodernism, for that research, and is now extending it to other research areas. Her current research interest is based on a new methodology she has developed using poetry writing as an interdisciplinary tool for academics, artists and others to explore the multivalent potential of language as a base for creative thinking. The methodology is called “Transmorphic Hermenuetics.” As a result of her work, she has been nominated for the Ted Hughes Poetry Award by Cinnamon Press for this methodology and its research potential. She is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea.