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Title: Narrative, historical representation and collective identity in the Gaelic literatures of Ireland and Scotland pertaining to the period 1914-1918
Author: Simpson, N. E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5367 3591
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis explores the role of historical narrative in the development and propagation of collective identities in the context of Irish and Scottish Gaelic literature pertaining to the Great War and 1916 Easter Rising. The comparative approach reveals strong parallels in regards to the phases of literary development in both nations, charting the progression from folk-based corpora linked closely to the oral tradition to modern - and frequently modernist - literature. Research questions consider the impact of literary style and techniques upon the historical interpretations and associated collective identities projected by the texts, highlighting clear patterns of correlation between content and form. The thesis is divided into three chapters. The first explores the development of historical representation and discourse in the Gaelic literatures across the genres of poetry, short-story, the novel and, autobiography. A key concern is the manner in which literary modernism has facilitated the revision of earlier. narratives and the articulation of more complex identities. Drawing upon White's theories, the role of the narrative medium in historical representation is also considered and attention drawn to modernist attempts to undermine this practice and thus subvert history itself. Chapter Two discusses the identities advanced in the texts in more detail with recourse to the various markers deployed to delineate group boundaries and distinguish members from outsiders. Of particular interest is the simultaneous co-existence of multiple identities in both Ireland and Scotland and the interaction - and particularly the discrepancy - between differing interpretations of identity. Finally, Chapter Three analyses the manner in which later works have contributed to a re-appraisal of earlier representations. This chapter also examines texts portraying the commemoration of the Great War and Easter Rising and queries the extent to which anniversaries serve as a forum for the questioning of both the contemporary state of the nation and dominant historical narratives.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available