Modern Irish Literature: Sources and Founders marks the culmination of the lifetime interest of the distinguished scholar Vivian Mercier (1919-89) in the influence of Gaelic literature on modern Irish writing.
Building on the insights developed in his classic The Irish Comic Tradition, in which he traced the continuity of attitudes and subjects of Irish writers from pre-Christian times to the present, Professor Mercier's focus here is on the research of nineteenth-century scholars which gave rise to the revival of Irish literature in English. Separate chapters analysing the work of writers including Bernard Shaw, Yeats, Synge, Joyce, and Beckett build to provide a fresh and timely picture of Irish literary tradition.Informed by a wealth and diversity of scholarship, and written in a highly accessible style, this book stands as a memorial to the achievement of Vivian Mercier and as an important contribution to the study of Irish literature.
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