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Ascendancy and Tradition in Anglo-Irish Literary History from 1789 To 1939$
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W. J. McCormack

Print publication date: 1985

Print ISBN-13: 9780198128069

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198128069.001.0001

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The Question of Celticism

The Question of Celticism

(p.219) 6. The Question of Celticism
Ascendancy and Tradition in Anglo-Irish Literary History from 1789 To 1939

W.J. Mc Cormack

Oxford University Press

No account of Anglo-Irish literature can be complete without some attention to the question of its relation to Gaelic culture, the 19th-century decline of Gaelic as a vernacular and the movement to revive it. This chapter focuses on Celticism and the three dominating scholars of Celtic language. In the subsequent sections of this chapter, attention is focused on Ernest Renan and his scholarly interest on Celtic literature. The works of Matthew Arnold and his sentiments on the Celtic language are discussed in this chapter as well. In addition, the irritating yet instructive feature of Irish cultural life in the 19th century wherein there was a proliferation of similar or identical individuals is also discussed. Particular attention is given to Standish O'Grady who attempted to revive Anglo-Irish literature and who was a believer of the repetitive patterns of name in Irish culture as not mere biographical or social steps but visible features of a largely concealed totality in which the broader activities of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland took place.

Keywords:   Anglo-Irish literature, Gaelic culture, Celticism, Celtic language, Ernest Renan, Celtic literature, Matthew Arnold, Irish culture, Ireland

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