Irish literary renaissance

Irish literary renaissance,

late 19th- and early 20th-century movement that aimed at reviving ancient Irish folklore, legends, and traditions in new literary works. The movement, also called the Celtic renaissance, was in part the cultural aspect of a political movement that was concerned with self-government for Ireland and discovering a literary past that would be relevant to the struggle for independence. The revival produced some of the best plays of the 20th cent. in the dramas of J. M. SyngeSynge, John Millington
, 1871–1909, Irish poet and dramatist, b. near Dublin, of Protestant parents. He was an important figure in the Irish literary renaissance. As a young man he studied music in Germany and later lived in Paris, where he wrote literary criticism.
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 and Sean O'CaseyO'Casey, Sean
, 1884–1964, Irish dramatist, one of the great figures of the Irish literary renaissance. A Protestant, he grew up in the slum district of Dublin and was active in various socialist movements and in the rebellions for Irish independence.
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 and some of the greatest poetry in the works of W. B. YeatsYeats, W. B.
(William Butler Yeats), 1865–1939, Irish poet and playwright, b. Dublin. The greatest lyric poet Ireland has produced and one of the major figures of 20th-century literature, Yeats was the acknowledged leader of the Irish literary renaissance.
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. One of the movement's most impressive achievements was the establishment of the Abbey TheatreAbbey Theatre,
Irish theatrical company devoted primarily to indigenous drama. W. B. Yeats was a leader in founding (1902) the Irish National Theatre Society with Lady Gregory, J. M. Synge, and A. E. (George Russell) contributing their talents as directors and dramatists.
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. Other important writers of the revival were Lady GregoryGregory, Lady Augusta
(Isabella Augusta Persse), 1859–1932, Irish dramatist. Though she did not begin her writing career until middle-age, Lady Gregory soon became a vital force in the Irish drama.
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, G. W. RussellRussell, George William,
pseud. A. E.,
1867–1935, Irish author, b. Lurgan, educated in Dublin. An active member of the Irish nationalist movement, he edited the Irish Homestead (1904–23) and the Irish Statesman (1923–30).
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 (pseud. A. E.), and James StephensStephens, James,
1882–1950, Irish poet and fiction writer, b. Dublin. One of the leading figures of the Irish literary renaissance, Stephens is best known for his fanciful and highly colored prose writings—The Crock of Gold (1912), The Demi-Gods
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. James JoyceJoyce, James,
1882–1941, Irish novelist. Perhaps the most influential and significant novelist of the 20th cent., Joyce was a master of the English language, exploiting all of its resources.
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 was a caustic sometime participant in the movement.

Bibliography

See R. Hogan, After the Irish Renaissance (1967); J. W. Foster, Forces and Themes in Ulster Fichon (1974).

References in periodicals archive ?
The selections cover over four decades from Catholic Emancipation to the first stirrings of the Irish literary renaissance.
John Banville proves that the Irish literary renaissance is still alive.
Yeats was a leader of the Irish Literary Renaissance, which stimulated appreciation of traditional Irish literature and new works written in that spirit.
Mystical element in the Gaelic revival and especially the Irish Literary Renaissance, Irish literary movements of the 19th century.
With the death of her husband, Sir William Gregory, in 1892, however, she developed a strong interest in Irish literature and history, and in 1898, when she met William Butler Yeats, she was ready to lend her talent, wealth, and position to the slowly developing sense of national consciousness that was to burgeon into the Irish literary renaissance.
Irish antiquary whose collections of songs and legends formed a storehouse for writers of the Irish Literary Renaissance.
The Gaelic revival laid the scholarly and nationalistic groundwork for the Irish Literary Renaissance, the great flowering of Irish literary talent at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century.
Yeats, George Moore, AE (George Russell), and other leaders of the Irish Literary Renaissance.
Irish writer and playwright who--by her translations of Irish legends, her peasant comedies and fantasies based on folklore, and her work for the Abbey Theatre--played a considerable part in the late 19th-century Irish Literary Renaissance .
Irish dramatist who with William Butler Yeats and Lady Gregory formed the Irish Literary Theatre (1899), part of the nationalist revival of interest in Ireland's Gaelic literary history known as the Irish Literary Renaissance.
Irish Gaelic scholar and industrious copyist and translator of Old Irish manuscripts whose works had an important influence on the revival of the Gaelic language and literature and contributed to the late 19th-century Irish literary renaissance.

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