A new book from MIC academic Dr Eóin Flannery explores how leading literary voices in contemporary Irish writing engaged with the events of Ireland’s turn-of-the-century economic ‘boom’ and the demise of the Celtic Tiger, and how they have portrayed the widespread and contrasting aftermaths.
Form, Affect and Debt in Post-Celtic Tiger Irish Fiction is a fascinating analysis of the work of writers such as Donal Ryan, Anne Haverty, Claire Kilroy, Dermot Bolger, Deirdre Madden, Chris Binchy, Peter Cunningham, Justin Quinn, and Paul Murray. The publication explores how contemporary literary fiction reflected upon and influenced the Irish perception of the ‘boom’ and crash, of associated shame and guilt, and the philosophy of debt to offer an entirely original suite of perspectives on both established and emerging authors.
Dr Flannery, who is a Lecturer within the Department of English Language & Literature at MIC, explains that: “The Celtic Tiger saw the transformation of Irish land into commercial and residential property. This book examines how a range of Irish fiction writers track and interrogate these changes in attitudes to the Irish landscape, as well as analysing how Irish fiction intersects with other global literary representations of economic success and austerity. Equally, the book examines and reveals how affects and emotions, such as guilt and shame were active as part of the reckoning with Ireland’s post-crash economic decline. In this respect the fall-out from the Celtic Tiger implosion seems to draw upon the same affective energies characteristic of Ireland’s much longer history of Catholicism.”
Paying attention to generic and thematic differences, Flannery's analyses touch upon issues such as: the politics of indebtedness; temporality and narrative form; the relevance of affect theory to understandings of Irish culture and society in an age of austerity; and the relationship between literary fiction and the mechanics of high finance. Insightful and original, Form, Affect and Debt in Post-Celtic Tiger Irish Fiction provides a seminal intervention in trying to grasp the cultural context and the literature of the Celtic Tiger period and its wake.
According to Professor Stephen Regan, Professor in the Department of English Studies, Durham University, UK: “This book is a compelling study of the intimate relations between finance and fiction in the wake of the Celtic Tiger. Readers will be truly indebted to this subtle and enlightening study for many years to come. It is pleasingly elegant and playfully entertaining, and it offers a startling account of the tangled co-existence of wealth creation and creative writing.”
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