| || |
After a targeted survey of historical interactions between Ireland and the “classical” Mediterranean world, this module will focus on the reception of Greek and Roman myth, poetry, and philosophy in modern Irish literature. Three primary case studies will take us from the early twentieth century to the present:
(1) Joyce’s Ulysses in dialogue with Homer’s Odyssey;
(2) Yeats’ lyric and dramatic engagements with Homer, Sophocles, and Plato; and
(3) Heaney’s “translations” of Sophocles and Virgil.
In the treatment of epic and the novel, lyric and dramatic poetry, of heroic, tragic and Platonic world-views, equal attention will be given to modern Irish and ancient voices, with explorations (of heroism and the homely, city and nation, place, memory, war, art, prophecy, fate) touching upon other cognate figures, ancient (e.g. Hesiod, Catullus), modern (e.g. Wilde, Kavanagh), and contemporary (e.g. Longley, Tóibín, Boland, Carr). In all, students will gain a deeper sense of the variety of ways in which Greek and Roman classics have helped to forge modern Irish literary imaginations.