BEGINNING A TRADITION: IRISH WOMEN'S WRITING, 1800-1984 (EDGEWORTH, JOHNSTONE, KEANE, IRELAND).

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/183990
Title:
BEGINNING A TRADITION: IRISH WOMEN'S WRITING, 1800-1984 (EDGEWORTH, JOHNSTONE, KEANE, IRELAND).
Author:
Weekes, Ann Owens
Issue Date:
1986
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
In search of an Irish women's literary tradition, this dissertation examines the fiction of Irish women writers from Maria Edgeworth in 1800 to Jennifer Johnston in 1984. Contemporary anthropological, psychoanalytical, and literary theory suggests that women, even those of different cultures, excluded from public life and limited to the domestic sphere, would develop similar interests. When these interests ran counter to those of the dominant group, the women would have had to develop a technique to simultaneously express and encode these interests and concerns. This technique in literature, and specifically in the writers considered, often results in a muted plot. On the overt level the plot reifies the values and tenets of the establishment, but, at the muted level, the plot often expresses contradictory and subversive values. In 1800, Maria Edgeworth employs a "naive" narrator who both expresses male disinterest in the awful situations of the women he depicts and also distances the author from any implied criticism of this male perspective. Edgeworth combines her subtle expose with a critique of the desires encoded as "human," but actually merely "male," in canonical literature. At the end of the nineteenth century, E. OE. Somerville and Martin Ross again use an arguably deceptive narratorial device, as does Molly Keane in 1981. Elizabeth Bowen employs a more subtle narratorial device in The Last September, but one which still distances the author from her text. The re-vision of texts, literary and historical, indeed the re-visioning of history, recurs in Bowen, Keane, Kate O'Brien, Julia O'Faolain and Jennifer Johnston. Finally, one can trace similarities of both theme and technique over the whole period, despite the modifications of time and social change. We can also point to the major thematic and structural change which occurs when, in the past ten to fifteen years, writers have reversed the placement of muted and overt plot.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Women authors, Irish -- History and criticism.; Irish fiction -- Women authors -- History and criticism.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
English; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Aiken, Susan Hardy

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleBEGINNING A TRADITION: IRISH WOMEN'S WRITING, 1800-1984 (EDGEWORTH, JOHNSTONE, KEANE, IRELAND).en_US
dc.creatorWeekes, Ann Owensen_US
dc.contributor.authorWeekes, Ann Owensen_US
dc.date.issued1986en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractIn search of an Irish women's literary tradition, this dissertation examines the fiction of Irish women writers from Maria Edgeworth in 1800 to Jennifer Johnston in 1984. Contemporary anthropological, psychoanalytical, and literary theory suggests that women, even those of different cultures, excluded from public life and limited to the domestic sphere, would develop similar interests. When these interests ran counter to those of the dominant group, the women would have had to develop a technique to simultaneously express and encode these interests and concerns. This technique in literature, and specifically in the writers considered, often results in a muted plot. On the overt level the plot reifies the values and tenets of the establishment, but, at the muted level, the plot often expresses contradictory and subversive values. In 1800, Maria Edgeworth employs a "naive" narrator who both expresses male disinterest in the awful situations of the women he depicts and also distances the author from any implied criticism of this male perspective. Edgeworth combines her subtle expose with a critique of the desires encoded as "human," but actually merely "male," in canonical literature. At the end of the nineteenth century, E. OE. Somerville and Martin Ross again use an arguably deceptive narratorial device, as does Molly Keane in 1981. Elizabeth Bowen employs a more subtle narratorial device in The Last September, but one which still distances the author from her text. The re-vision of texts, literary and historical, indeed the re-visioning of history, recurs in Bowen, Keane, Kate O'Brien, Julia O'Faolain and Jennifer Johnston. Finally, one can trace similarities of both theme and technique over the whole period, despite the modifications of time and social change. We can also point to the major thematic and structural change which occurs when, in the past ten to fifteen years, writers have reversed the placement of muted and overt plot.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectWomen authors, Irish -- History and criticism.en_US
dc.subjectIrish fiction -- Women authors -- History and criticism.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEnglishen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorAiken, Susan Hardyen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberO'Donnell, Patricken_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBowen, Rogeren_US
dc.identifier.proquest8708572en_US
dc.identifier.oclc698244965en_US
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