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Narrating Irish Identity: Retrieving ‘Irishness’ in the Works of William Butler Yeats and Seamus Heaney
Authors: Rafik Massoudi
Abstract:Irish identity continues to be discussed in various fields including social science, culture, literary humanities as well as political debates. In this context, Irishness had been usurped for a long time by the hegemonic power of the British Empire. That is why, Irish writers, in general, and Seamus Heaney along with William Butler Yeats, in particular, endeavored to retrieve this lost identity by shedding light on Irish history, folklore, communal traditions, landscape, indigenous people, language as well as culture. In this context, we may speak of a decolonizing attempt that allowed these writers to represent the autonomous Irish subjectivity by establishing an ethical relationship based on an extraordinary approach to the represented alterity. This article, indeed, places itself within the arena of postmodern, postcolonial discussions of the issue of identity and, particularly, of Irishness.
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