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Contemporary Irish Women PoetsMemory and Estrangement$
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Lucy Collins

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781781381878

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781381878.001.0001

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Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s Spaces of Memory

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s Spaces of Memory

(p.111) Chapter Four Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s Spaces of Memory
Contemporary Irish Women Poets

Lucy Collins

Liverpool University Press

This chapter is concerned with the provisional nature of Ní Chuilleanáin’s treatment of history and with the role that memory plays in retaining, and reshaping, the past in her work. From her earliest publications, the relationship between detail and significance has been crucial, but it intensifies in importance from The Magdalene Sermon (1989) onward, when the individual woman’s relationship to her past – and its implications for her engagement with history – becomes a key preoccupation. In The Brazen Serpent (1994) remembrance is linked to the process of bereavement, which is revisited in oblique ways in later collections. These acts of textual return are crucial to the evaluation of Ní Chuilleanáin’s treatment of the past in her work.

Keywords:   Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Memory and Trauma, Poetry and Poetics, Subjectivity in Poetry, Irish History

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