Catalogue

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Impure thoughts : sexuality, Catholicism and literature in twentieth-century Ireland /
Michael G. Cronin.
imprint
Manchester : Manchester University Press, 2012
description
viii, 244 p. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0719086132 (Cloth), 9780719086137, 9780719086137 (Cloth)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Manchester : Manchester University Press, 2012
isbn
0719086132 (Cloth)
9780719086137
9780719086137 (Cloth)
catalogue key
8912278
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [222]-239) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Michael G. Cronin is Lecturer in English at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Excerpts
Flap Copy
Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This book studies the 20th-century Irish Catholic Bildungsroman. This comparative examination of six Irish novelists tracks the historical evolution of a literary genre and its significant role in Irish culture, with chapters on James Joyce and Kate O'Brien, along with studies of Maura Laverty, Patrick Kavanagh, Edna O'Brien and John McGahern.
Long Description
Impure Thoughts explores the relationship between sexuality, literature and Catholicism in twentieth-century Ireland. It offers an innovative history of the Irish Catholic bildungsroman and explains how in the hands of diverse writers, from James Joyce to Edna O'Brien, this popular genre provided an imaginative space where Irish culture thought about, worried over, and negotiated the connection between sexuality and modernity. From Stephen Dedalus onwards, the youthful protagonists of these novels grappled with the challenges and crises of becoming an adult in twentieth-century Ireland, while also symbolising a society confronting the historical challenges of post-colonial development. As Impure Thoughts shows, in these novels the plot of self-formation and sexual exploration consistently provided varied and contending imaginative resolutions to the contradictions of capitalist modernity, and the specific shape which these took in post-independence Ireland. But these novels were not the only stories of youth circulating in Irish culture during these decades. Impure Thoughts includes an original assessment of varied archival material, most notably Catholic advice pamphlets for teenagers, and it maps out the distinctive forms of sexual discourse - from Catholic moral theology to Freudian psychoanalysis - used in various combinations by the novelists and by the proponents of Catholic sexual morality. The result is a nuanced and provocative reappraisal of how sexuality was regulated and controlled in twentieth-century Ireland. As Ireland grapples with the bitter legacy of the twentieth century, this interdisciplinary study will bring a fresh perspective on some especially fraught, painful and complex problems in contemporary Irish culture and politics.
Long Description
Impure thoughts explores the relationship between sexuality, literature and Catholicism in twentieth-century Ireland. It offers an innovative history of the Irish Catholic bildungsroman, or novel of formation. In the hands of diverse Irish writers, from James Joyce to Edna O'Brien, this popular genre offered an imaginative space to think about, worry over and negotiate the connection between youth, sexuality and modernity.From Stephen Dedalus onwards, the youthful protagonists of these novels grappled with the challenges of becoming an adult in twentieth-century Ireland, while also symbolising a society confronting the historical challenges of post-colonial development. As Impure thoughts shows, in these novels the plot of self-formation and sexual exploration consistently provided varied and contending imaginative resolutions to the contradictions of capitalism, and the specific shape which these took in post-independence Ireland. But these novels were not the only stories of youth circulating in Irish culture during these decades. Impure thoughts includes an original assessment of varied archival material, most notably Catholic advice pamphlets for teenagers, and it maps out the distinctive forms of sexual discourse - from Catholic moral theology to Freudian psychoanalysis - used in various combinations by the novelists and by the proponents of Catholic sexual morality. The result is a nuanced and provocative reappraisal of how sexuality was regulated and controlled in twentieth-century Ireland. As Ireland grapples with the bitter legacy of the twentieth century, this interdisciplinary study will bring a fresh perspective on some especially fraught, painful and complex problems in contemporary Irish culture and politics.
Main Description
Impure Thoughts is the first study of the twentieth-century Irish Catholic bildungsroman. This comparative examination of six Irish novelists tracks the historical evolution of a literary genre and its significant role in Irish culture. With chapters on James Joyce and Kate O'Brien, along with studies of Maura Laverty, Patrick Kavanagh, Edna O'Brien and John McGahern, this book offers a fresh new approach to the study of twentieth-century Irish writing and of the twentieth-century novel. Combining the study of literature and of archival material Impure Thoughts also develops a new interpretive framework for studying the history of sexuality in twentieth-century Ireland. Addressing itself to a wide set of interdisciplinary questions about Irish sexuality, modernity and post-colonial development, as well as Irish literature, it will be of interest to students and scholars in various disciplines, including literary studies, history, sociology and gender studies.
Main Description
Impure Thoughts is the first study of the twentieth-century Irish Catholic bildungsroman. This comparative examination of six Irish novelists tracks the historical evolution of a literary genre and its significant role in Irish culture. With chapters on James Joyce and Kate O'Brien, along with studies of Maura Laverty, Patrick Kavanagh, Edna O'Brien and John McGahern, this book offers a fresh new approach to the study of twentieth-century Irish writing and of the twentieth-century novel.Combining the study of literature and of archival material Impure Thoughts also develops a new interpretive framework for studying the history of sexuality in twentieth-century Ireland. Addressing itself to a wide set of interdisciplinary questions about Irish sexuality, modernity and post-colonial development, as well as Irish literature, it will be of interest to students and scholars in various disciplines, including literary studies, history, sociology and gender studies.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgementsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
Going to Tara via Vienna: Joyce and the Freudian Bildungsromanp. 22
Growing pains: sexuality, Irish moral politics and capitalist crisis, 1920-40p. 48
Kate O'Brien and the erotics of liberal Catholic dissentp. 82
Married bliss: sexuality, Catholicism and modernisation in Ireland, 1940-65p. 114
Sex and the country: the rural Bildungsromane of Maura Laverty and Patrick Kavanaghp. 147
Arrested development: sexuality, trauma and history in Edna O'Brien and John McGahernp. 176
Conclusionp. 210
Bibliographyp. 222
Indexp. 240
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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