Inventing the Nation: Ireland (RV Comerford)

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Not only politics but religion and language, literature and art, music, dance and sport contribute to the on-going invention of Ireland. The contribution from each of these arenas is explored in this book. Long before the advent of modern nationalism, Irish nationality enjoyed a distinct and multifaceted existence and while nationalists have contributed to its shape in recent centuries so too have many other influences including churches, numerous collective and commercial initiatives, and especially the state in its various manifestations. Flux and inconsistency are the hallmarks of all attempted definitions of nationality and the Irish case is no exception. The pub, now the icon of Irishness around the world, was regarded a century ago by nationalist ideologues as a foreign intrusion intended to undermine national morale. One of the main concerns of this study is to detect change and where possible to account for it, especially the changing connotation of key words. The challenge is not only change over time but also the varying usage at any given time of terms such as nation and nationality. <br/> <br/> R.V.Comerford offers a new perspective on the issues at the heart of debates about Irish nationhood and identity. In particular his exploration of Irish origin myths constitutes a fresh contribution to the discourse on ethnicity, race and Celticism.

Review

This book gains credibility from its sensitivity to the relevance of concepts of nationhood outside the abstract concerns of academia<br /><br /> --Volume 12, No 3 2004 (Irish Studies Review

<br /><br />The scholarship and clarity of argument is hugely impressive. A whole range of historical stereotypes are effectively challenged.<br /><br />- --Vol 90 Issue 1, January 2005 (HISTORY - Journal of the Historical Association )

Synopsis

Not only politics but religion and language, literature and art, music, dance and sport contribute to the on-going invention of Ireland. The contribution from each of these arenas is explored in this book. Long before the advent of modern nationalism, Irish nationality enjoyed a distinct and multifaceted existence and while nationalists have contributed to its shape in recent centuries so too have many other influences including churches, numerous collective and commercial initiatives, and especially the state in its various manifestations. Flux and inconsistency are the hallmarks of all attempted definitions of nationality and the Irish case is no exception. The pub, now the icon of Irishness around the world, was regarded a century ago by nationalist ideologues as a foreign intrusion intended to undermine national morale. One of the main concerns of this study is to detect change and where possible to account for it, especially the changing connotation of key words. The challenge is not only change over time but also the varying usage at any given time of terms such as nation and nationality. R.V.Comerford offers a new perspective on the issues at the heart of debates about Irish nationhood and identity.

 

In particular his exploration of Irish origin myths constitutes a fresh contribution to the discourse on ethnicity, race and Celticism.