The Irish Story: Telling Tales and Making it Up in Ireland

The Irish Story Telling Tales and Making it Up in Ireland Roy Foster is one of the leaders of the iconoclastic generation of Irish historians In this opinionated entertaining book he examines how the Irish have written understood used and misused their h

  • Title: The Irish Story: Telling Tales and Making it Up in Ireland
  • Author: R.F. Foster
  • ISBN: 9780195168877
  • Page: 194
  • Format: Paperback
  • Roy Foster is one of the leaders of the iconoclastic generation of Irish historians In this opinionated, entertaining book he examines how the Irish have written, understood, used, and misused their history over the past century.Foster argues that, over the centuries, Irish experience itself has been turned into story He examines how and why the key moments of Ireland sRoy Foster is one of the leaders of the iconoclastic generation of Irish historians In this opinionated, entertaining book he examines how the Irish have written, understood, used, and misused their history over the past century.Foster argues that, over the centuries, Irish experience itself has been turned into story He examines how and why the key moments of Ireland s past the 1798 Rising, the Famine, the Celtic Revival, Easter 1916, the Troubles have been worked into narratives, drawing on Ireland s powerful oral culture, on elements of myth, folklore, ghost stories and romance The result of this constant reinterpretation is a shifting Story of Ireland, complete with plot, drama, suspense, and revelation.Varied, surprising, and funny, the interlinked essays in The Irish Story examine the stories that people tell each other in Ireland and why Foster provides an unsparing view of the way Irish history is manipulated for political ends and that Irish misfortunes are sentimentalized and packaged He offers incisive readings of writers from Standish O Grady to Trollope and Bowen dissects the Irish government s commemoration of the 1798 uprising and bitingly critiques the memoirs of Gerry Adams and Frank McCourt Fittingly, as the acclaimed biographer of Yeats, Foster explores the poet s complex understanding of the Irish story the mystery play of devils and angels which we call our national history and warns of the dangers of turning Ireland into a historical theme park.The Irish Story will be hailed by some, attacked by others, but for all who care about Irish history and literature, it will be essential reading.

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      Published :2018-05-10T18:31:07+00:00

    1 thought on “The Irish Story: Telling Tales and Making it Up in Ireland”

    1. There are a couple redeeming essays here, but this is literary criticism, which is challenging for the general reader at the best of times. I learned a great deal about current issues in Irish letters and memory-making, but I’m an academic and I had to wade through a disparate selection of essays that presume a tight body of knowledge and community of scholarship. Not for the general reader wanting to learn about Irish history, literature or current events. Still, the issue of memory and comme [...]

    2. Aaagh! The Irish! Irelanda country of saints & scholars?wellis study of Irish history is that of a scholarR.L.Foster draws attention to the fairy-tale nature of Irish history in a quite brilliant way. The Irish are indisputably a gifted literary nation. a foreign tongue, English, with admirable skill & artistrywhen telling tall tales or sounding-off to a harper's accompaniement in a flight of fantasy about leprechauns & banshees& the evil Saxons!but far less reliable when dealing [...]

    3. Having recently read Foster's lengthy history of modern Ireland, this was a bit of a denouement, but an engaging and instructive one nonetheless. His target here is what he refers to as "Theme Park History", or what we in the States might refer to as the "Disneyizing of Experience"; i.e the tendency to tell history in a way and including only those details (or distortions thereof) that are edifying to the teller. The irony and the difficulty in this is being able to retain one's credibility as a [...]

    4. In more a collection of journal articles than a cohesive history, R.F. Foster, the man chosen to oversee the Oxford Book of Irish History, delivers an inside critique of Irish historiography, demonstrating that whether it is government sponsored commemorations of 1798, the political memoirs of Gerry Adams, Yeats on WWI (his own opinions and work for patrons like Lady Gregory), inventing idyllic rural childhoods in literature or politically hijacking Brian Boru, the Irish have always made masterf [...]

    5. I took a long time reading this one, and not because of lack of interest - it was just a very intensive and intellectual look at various aspects of they way the history of Ireland is narrated, told, and packaged, with a decidedly literary bent. It's a good book to pick up every once in a while and focus on an individual essay, though it does assume a certain level of familiarity with major events and players in Irish history. Not rip-roaringly funny as advertised on the front, but a decent read [...]

    6. R. F. Foster is a noted historian of Ireland and in this book, he examines and dismantles the often one-sided stories of Irish history, particularly the Republican era. For someone who knows little of Irish history, however, the book can be challenging, and one would need to read more about the subjects Foster discusses in order to better appreciate his work. Also, at times the book is heavy-going with a focus on W. B. Yeats, though since Foster is a biographer of him, then the latter can be exc [...]

    7. A mixed bag of essays on Irish history and the Irish sense of nationhood, the best being those on the literature of Gerry Adams and Frank McCourt (the father of the misery memoir).

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