Stretching back to 1600 and covering works in English and Gaelic, Irish Classics scrutinizes the enduring Irish classics that have challenged readers generation after generation. Irish themes are explored as inspiration for the bitter poetry of Seathrun Ceitinn and the prose of Jonathan Swift and Edmund Burke, and analogies are made between modern and classic writers. Although Kiberd acknowledges that often frictions existed between the two languages he finds that, nevertheless, strong similarities override both.
Publisher: Granta Books
Number of pages: 704
Weight: 1039 g
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm
'Occasionally one comes across a book capable of producing intense feelings of dismay, then joy; dismay on having revealed to oneself an unexpected deficit in one's knowledge, and joy at the author's scholarly relief of it. This is such a book.' Cal McCrystal, The Independent on Sunday; 'What Kiberd has succeeded in doing so remarkably is to draw together the writers in the two languages and in diverse cultural traditions within the same historical framework...His redrawing of Irish traditions along these lines is certain to become a classic of that literature in its own right.' The Sunday Tribune; '...[Kiberd] has the talent for popularising of the public intellectual. Witty, astute, and compulsively readable, he knows how to shape a critical narrative and where to slide in a comic aside...Irish Classics has an infectious verve about it...it tracks the course of Irish writing with brilliant lucidity and unflagging energy...whose powers to expound, amuse and exhilarate are second to none.' Terry Eagleton, The Guardian; 'Irish Classics is a magisterial, yet passionate, evocative and wonderfully accessible journey through the literary masterpieces in both Irish and English from the 16th century to the present. Declan Kiberd...presents a jargon-free guide that is an authoritative and insightful history of the island...' Scotland on Sunday; 'Declan Kiberd...is one of the very few contemporary critics with the skill, intelligence and linguistic competence to undertake such an ambitious critical enterprise. This is literary criticism of the best kind, enlightening and entertaining, authoritative and accessible, committed and inspiring.' Irish Times; '...a beautifully crafted survey of the inextinguishable classics from the bardie era to modern times. I shall treasure Kiberd's insights into a brilliant array of stars...' Kenneth Wright, The Herald; 'Irish Classics...boosts the old form of literary criticism with its original and exhilarating scenarios' The Independent; '[The] cleverness is both engaging and encyclopaedic' TLS