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“Coeval but Out of Kilter”: Diaspora, Modernity and “Authenticity” in Irish Emigrant Worker Writing

  • Michael Pierse
Chapter
Part of the Migration, Diasporas and Citizenship book series (MDC)

Abstract

Across various fields of cultural production, the Irish diaspora’s impact on how Ireland markets itself abroad and sculpts its identity within has profoundly shaped the Irish imaginary. Within this imaginary, a range of contradictions and silences abound. Among them is the frequent omission of worker narratives and proletarian struggles from often sanitised representations of Irish diasporic experience. By applying David Lloyd’s ideas on the “non-modern” and “out of kilter” “recalcitrant culture” of Ireland under Empire to early twentieth-century narratives of Irish emigrant experience in Britain, Pierse considers how Patrick MacGill’s, James Hanley’s and Robert Tressell’s writings depict the Irish abroad and their relationship to concepts of “home.” The chapter considers how these narratives have salient lessons for our conceptualisation of the Irish diaspora today.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Pierse
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Arts, English and LanguagesQueen’s University BelfastBelfastUK

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