21L.488 | Spring 2003 | Undergraduate

Contemporary Literature


The texts for this course are listed below in the order that they are used. Excerpts of these texts, combined with handouts of assorted poems, served as the reading assignments for the course, as shown in the table below.

Required Texts

Crotty, Patrick, ed. Modern Irish Poetry: An Anthology. Belfast: Blackstaff Press, 1995. ISBN: 0-85640-561-2.

Bolger, Dermot, ed. The Vintage Book of Contemporary Irish Fiction. New York: Vintage - Knopf, 1995. ISBN: 0-679-76546-8.

Friel, Brian. Dancing at Lughnasa. London: Faber and Faber, 1992. ISBN: 0-571-14479-9.

McGuiness, Frank, ed. The Dazzling Dark: New Irish Plays. New York: Faber and Faber, 1996. ISBN: 0-571-17740-9.

Somer, John, and John Daly, eds. The Anchor Book of New Irish Writing: The New Gaelach Ficsean. New York: Doubleday Publishing, 2000. ISBN: 0-385-49889-6.

McBreen, Joan, ed. The White Page/An Bhileog Bhan: Twentieth-Century Irish Women Poets. County Clare, Ireland: Salmon Publishing, 2000. ISBN: 1-897648-40-5.

1 Welcomes, logistical explanations, and a few warm-up exercises.  
2 James Joyce, “The Dead.” Not to pre-empt the lead-off persons here, but two questions that nag at me about this story are, “To whom precisely does the yitle refer?” and “Can this marriage be saved?” Handout: Joyce, James. “The Dead.”
3 James Joyce, “The Dead.” (cont.) Handout: Joyce, James. “The Dead.”
4 William Butler Yeats Handout: Yeats, William Butler. Sample of poems.
5 William Butler Yeats (cont.) Handout: Yeats, William Butler. Sample of poems.
6 Samuel Beckett Bolger: Beckett. “Dante and the Lobster” and “For to End Yet Again.”
7 Recently an enterprising group undertook the filming of all of Beckett’s stage works. The Literature Section film office owns the set, and we’ll take a look at a few of Smiling Sammy’s shorter works today.  
8 Edna O’Brien Handout: O’Brien. “Sister Imelda.”

Bolger. p. 282.

9 William Trevor Bolger. p. 187.
10 Mary Lavin Bolger. p. 95.
11 John McGahern Handout: McGahern. “All Sorts of Impossible Things.”

Bolger. p. 67.

12 Mary Dorcey

Mary Morrissey

Bolger. p. 265.

Bolger. p. 524.

13 Roddy Doyle

Sara Berkeley

Bolger. p. 295.

Bolger. p. 387.

14 Brian Friel Friel.
15 Brian Friel (cont.) Friel.
16 Seamus Heaney Crotty. p. 197.
17 Seamus Heaney (cont.) Crotty. p. 197.
18 John Montague Crotty. p. 178.
19 John Montague (cont.)  
20 Eavan Boland

Nuala ni Dhomhnaill

Paula Meehan

Handout: Boland. “A Kind of Scar.”

Crotty. p. 272.

Crotty. p. 365.

Crotty. p. 398.

21 Marina Carr McGuiness: Carr. “Portia Coughlin.”
22 Discussion of poetry from The White Page. The lead-off people will have the power / responsibility to select the poem we attend to on that day, and given time others may bring forward their choices. McBreen.
23 The White Page Discussions (cont.) McBreen.
24 The White Page Discussions (cont.) McBreen.
25 The White Page Discussions (cont.) McBreen.
26 Final Lecture  

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2003
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments
Presentation Assignments