The Celtic Spirit and Literature offers a lively and thoughtful introduction to the rich and complex world of Celtic Spirit, past, present and to come. It explores how over many centuries up to the present day.
The book considers how the Celtic Spirit can still operate in our lives, enabling us to be a welcoming people, respectful of the gifts of nature, and imaginatively open to ‘otherworlds’ and the worlds of others.
The book begins by tracing the emergence of Celtic culture and defining what is meant by the Celtic Spirit. Chapters focusing on the myriad aspects of Celtic spirit in relation to nature, creative living, concepts of hospitality and love of place are interlaced with essays tracing the literary manifestations of the Celtic spirit from early forms such as lyric poetry, epic tales and adventures to the magnificent work produced as a result of the confluence of the Celtic and the Christian.
The book also charts the collapse of the Gaelic order and conflicting attitudes to the Celtic identity in the works of Anglo-Irish authors such as Maria Edgeworth. This was followed by the re-emergence of new forms of Celtic-inspired literature in the nineteenth century, most especially in the literature of Yeats, Synge and, perhaps unexpectedly, Joyce. The extraordinary tenacity and variety of the Celtic spirit will be demonstrated through an exploration of modern Irish literature, including works by Flann O’Brien, Patrick Kavanagh and Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney, and contemporary writers such as Colum McCann
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