Irish Women Writers and the Modern Short Story by Elke D'hoker

By Elke D'hoker

This publication lines the improvement of the fashionable brief tale within the fingers of Irish girls writers from the Nineties to the current. George Egerton, Somerville and Ross, Elizabeth Bowen, Mary Lavin, Edna O’Brien, Anne Enright and Claire Keegan are just a number of the many Irish ladies writers who've made lasting contributions to the style of the fashionable brief tale - but their achievements have frequently been marginalized in literary histories, which generally outline the Irish brief tale when it comes to its oral background, nationalist issues, rural realism and outsider-hero. via a close research of the fast fiction of fifteen well-known writers, this learn goals to open up this severe conceptualization of the Irish brief tale to the formal houses and thematic matters ladies writers deliver to the style. What sticks out in thematic phrases is an abiding curiosity in human kin, no matter if of affection, the family members or the bigger neighborhood. In formal phrases, this publication lines the general improvement of the Irish brief tale, highlighting either the strains of impression that attach those writers and the categorical use every one person writer makes of the quick tale shape.

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Even though her protagonists may clamour for freedom and may seek to escape the “bondage” of marriage, this does not mean that they aim for the radical egotism and self-cultivation promoted by Nietzsche (D’hoker 2011, 538). Instead, the ultimate ideal seems to be a self-discovery in the service of others. This slightly paradoxical ideal responds to the central concern with independence and autonomy in the literature of the period. For Regenia Gagnier, fin-de-siècle discourse distinguished between independence, which “eliminates all values but self-affirmation and thus gives rise to irreducible differences” and autonomy, which is “relational and compatible with submission to a common need or even common law” (2010, 62).

In “The Spell of the White Elf”, a first-person narrator relates her transformational encounter with another woman, who tells—again in the first-person—of the happiness a child has given her, while in “Her Share”, the narration of a woman’s love stifled by society and convention is antithetically embedded within the story of the main protagonist “in the first flush of [her] new-found happiness” (2006, 95). Although these multiple, embedded narrations do not serve to cast doubt on the truth of the story (as they would in Conrad’s box-like story structures), neither do they serve to emphasize the veracity of the story as in the case of the multiple trustworthy narrators of The Strand’s popular detective stories.

2013b. Mary Lavin. Dublin: Irish Academic Press. Eagleton, Mary. 1989. Gender and Genre. In Re-Reading the Short Story, edited by Clare Hanson, 55–68. Basingstoke: Palgrave. Egerton, George. 2006. Keynotes and Discords. London: Continuum. Original edition, 1893, 1894. Enright, Anne. 2010. The Granta Book of the Irish Short Story. London: Granta. Friedman, Norman. 1989. Recent Short Story Theories: Problems in Definition. In Short Story Theory at a Crossroads, edited by Susan Lohafer and Jo Ellyn Clarey, 13–31.

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