Samuel Johnson, the Ossian Fraud, and the Celtic Revival in Great Britain and Ireland
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Subsequent references will be made in the standard fashion, i. View all notes This line will reappear — transformed — in Finnegans Wake. Foster, Yeats , Brannigan, Archipelagic Modernism , See above Joyce, Occasional, Critical, and Political Writing , View all notes went through drastic and rapid change, including the continued decline of the Irish and Scottish Gaelic languages. Irish and Scottish Modernisms developed out of greatly changed political situations from that of Irish and Scottish Romanticisms.
Carruthers and Rawes, 1. Deane, Foster, Irish Story , Yeats, Poems , Archipelagic Modernism. In contrast to the historical contexts of Irish and Scottish Romanticisms, the Modernist period saw the British Empire beginning to fall apart and cracks starting to show in the British state itself. View all notes Importantly for the study of Irish Modernism, this period also comes after the dawn of psychoanalysis.
If notions of national or imperial wholeness were being undermined during this period, so were concepts of personal or psychic unity, especially in texts by Joyce and Beckett.
Samuel Johnson and the Ossian Fraud
Joyce and Beckett had differing attitudes to — and levels of interest or involvement in — psychoanalysis, and related subjects such as the schizoid voice. Joyce, Finnegans Wake , , lines 29— Subsequent references will use the standard citation method i. Instead, within Modernist texts Ossian gains a capacity to signify some of the concerns and methods of the new era: mental fragmentation, indeterminacy, textual recycling, and literary collage.
This is partly due to an anxiety in Irish and Scottish literature concerning the perceived threat of an English modernity of soulless materialism a continuation of anxieties dating back at least as far as the s , or as a response to the historical domination of Ireland or Scotland by England. Deane, Celtic Revivals , View all notes Indeed, since the Modernisms of Ireland and Scotland were often designed to vandalise or subvert English culture, they became more formally and linguistically advanced than the arguably more formally moderate Modernism of England.
Joyce was very much aware of the Ossian controversy 65 As were his detractors. In an Observer review Oliver St. James Macpherson Leipzig: G. Goeschen, Ellmann, The Consciousness of Joyce , View all notes a collection that predates the composition of Finnegans Wake. View all notes Finnegans Wake notebook VI. For information on notebook VI. Joyce, U , Sturgeon, View all notes its purposeful Celtic obscurity, 73 Gibson, Wake Rites , Joyce, FW , Clark, Cheng, Shakespeare and Joyce , 96—7. Joyce, Letters of James Joyce. View all notes Like Macpherson, Joyce is a gatherer and recycler of textual material.
FW , View all notes suggests that dreams and personal identities are mixed, fluid, and recycled water generally signifies repetition and return in Finnegans Wake. Details of the specific Macphersonian textual matter incorporated into Finnegans Wake are also to be found in articles by Ward Swinson and Fritz Senn.
View all notes The repetitive use of Macpherson in Finnegans Wake helps to create the obscure, uncertain night-world of Finnegans Wake and its representation of dreams and unconsciousness. This phrase retains the rising and falling dualism of the first example. Both of these examples occur right at the beginning or resumption of Finnegans Wake , in Book I. View all notes According to Swinson, 89 The deer of the mountain avoids the place, for he beholds a dim ghost that guards it: for the mighty lie, O Malvina, in the narrow plain of the rock.
To this day, when beasts suddenly start without any apparent cause, the vulgar think that they see the spirits of the deceased. View all notes so the apparition of this eerie Macpherson material is well suited to its surroundings. View all notes frequently blurs death and sleep, and is interested in anything interred, subterranean, or chthonic. View all notes Here Joyce makes direct use, for his own purposes, of material that would later be summoned as a defence against two charges commonly directed at Macpherson: that Macpherson had appropriated Irish culture for Scotland and that he had not worked with actual source material.
For a range of criticisms levelled at Macpherson, see Mackenzie ed. As was mentioned earlier, a Romantic focus on national or racial traits, as seen in texts such as The Wild Irish Girl , is replaced by Modernist conceptions of personal and national fragmentation. The fragmentary nature of Ossian is highlighted and engaged with in Irish texts following the disappearance of Celticism. Robert Crawford has discussed the importance of the fragment in modern literature: It is a form which speaks of cultural ruin, and of potential re-assembly … Just as the Ossianic fragments are part of the aftermath of Culloden, in our own century the greatest uses of the fragment have come in the work of poets writing in the wake of a war which shattered the civilisation they knew.
Pound used the form for much of his career and Eliot shored up fragments against his Waste Land ruins. We may add Joyce to this list. Furthermore, in addition to the sense of global collapse — or at least European fragmentation — in the early twentieth century, there was also the partial crumbling of the United Kingdom and Ireland during this period.
Warfare is not as central to Finnegans Wake as it is to Ossian. Allen, Modernism, Ireland and Civil War , View all notes Personal and national divisions and splits frequently merge in Finnegans Wake. As opposed to the models of convergence offered in works like The Wild Irish Girl, Finnegans Wake is a text of deliberate instability. Killiekrankie, the Outer Hebridean R.
It was not like a real voice, one minute it said one thing and the next minute something quite different. Beckett, Murphy , Read latest edition. UK Edition. US Edition. Log in using your social network account.
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Ossian, the European National Epic (1760-1810)
Ossian plays a harp and sings of Fingal to Malvina, a name probably made up by James Macpherson that became popular in Norway amid the success of the epic poems, in this painting by Johann Peter Krafft. Download the new Indpendent Premium app Sharing the full story, not just the headlines Download now. Shape Created with Sketch. Science news in pictures Show all The highly social birds will also remember that person if they come near their nests again, according to researchers from the University of Exeter. In the study, a person unknown to the wild jackdaws approached their nest.
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