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Studies in World Literature: The Irish Short Story (ENGLX)

16th May 2020

According to Seán Ó Faoláin, ‘The punch and poetry [of a short story] come from a combination of reality, in the simple sense of plausibility (hard won), and personal voltage. The voltage does something to the material. It lights it up; it burns it up; it makes it fume in the memory as an aroma or essence which clings to us even when we have forgotten the details of the yarn’ (The Short Story, 1948). This course will explore the Irish short story tradition from c.1890 to the present day. The focus will be on close readings of some exemplary stories, and students will be encouraged to respond to these texts from a variety of critical perspectives. Writers to be discussed include Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Flann O’Brien, Liam O’Flaherty, Seán Ó Faoláin, Frank O’Connor, Elizabeth Bowen, William Trevor, Neil Jordan, Anne Enright, and Claire Keegan.

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