Relocated Memories: The Great Irish Famine in Irish and Diaspora Fiction, 1846-1870
Relocated Memories: The Great Irish Famine in Irish and Diaspora Fiction, 1846 - 1870
Syracuse University Press
Who fears to speak of ’47? Not Dr Marguérite Corporaal, the Dutch professor who needs no introduction to experts in 19th-century Irish literature or history, nor the hundreds of authors of works cited. However, many 21st-century Irish historians do have, if not a fear, then a reticence to deal with the realities of the Famine. This book challenges many assumptions about the Famine in fact and in literature. It is impossible not to draw a straight line from the ghastly experiences in Ireland during the 1840s to the land war in the 1870s to the anti-colonial struggle during 1916-1921. What is striking is the admission by so many authors and artists cited that he or she was deliberately omitting the more horrific details of the Famine. The author traces a number of themes, from spectral, with putrid bodies lying unburied on the side of the road for days, to pastoral, looking back from new locations in vice-ridden urban American slums on Ireland as it used to be – and perhaps never was.