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The introduction proposes that approaches from memory studies can be used to show how a poet can shape and mediate shared memory and can also provide fresh insights into Heaney’s late poetry. A working definition of cultural memory is outlined and key figures and concepts from the field of memory studies are identified. The premise of this book is that transnational approaches to memory studies are the most productive for understanding how the personal, familial, regional, national and global memories created by Heaney can ‘travel’ across and beyond borders and time periods, oscillating between these different frames of memory. The introduction also establishes why Heaney should be considered in a transnational literary sphere.
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