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Irish Science Fiction$
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Jack Fennell

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781781381199

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781381199.001.0001

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Nationalist Fantasies of the Early Twentieth Century

Nationalist Fantasies of the Early Twentieth Century

(p.85) 3. Nationalist Fantasies of the Early Twentieth Century
Irish Science Fiction

Jack Fennell


This chapter considers the different varieties of Irish nationalism that arose in the first decades of the twentieth century, and considers the ways in which they interpreted tradition, modernity, myth and realism. The mystical nationalism of Pádraig Pearse did not produce any appreciable body of science fiction, being too focused on the legendary past to consider the future properly, but other nationalist ideologies did: the fundamentalist Catholic ‘realism’ of the Catholic bourgeoisie is represented by the novel Eoghan Paor, in which an Irishman becomes the wealthiest man in the world and sets about trying to buy Irish freedom; on the other hand, the Irish modernism of the Revivalists and the ‘de-Anglicisers’ gave rise to The Professor in Erin, which depicts a parallel, technologically advanced Ireland that was never colonised.

Keywords:   Irish modernism, science fiction, Eoghan Paor, Padraig Pearse, Irish nationalism, twentieth century

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