Maleney is hyper-alert to the problems posed by personal writing.“The further I have gone into this job of writing about one family in one place – the family I was born into, the place where I grew up – the greater the distance has grown between me and all of that,” he writes. There is no redemption in it.” It is a bleak judgement, but thankfully one that we as readers, having experienced these books’ many insights from the other side, cannot share.
We’re uncommonly gifted in the realms of music, sport and literature.
We’re a clatter of land-mad peasants afflicted with racial famine memories who got suckered wholesale by property developers, builders, banksters and mortgage mafiosi.
And that also means that the myth of the passive Irish, who do not protest, may also be broken.” Allen’s conclusion has of course been borne out in recent months, as ordinary Irish people have instigated unprecedented revolt against seven years of “austerity” – a Beckettian word co-opted for political capital, as if poverty were an aesthetic choice – and Irish Water.
This may prove a watershed in the progress towards a long-overdue process of psychological decolonisation.
These include the Roman Catholic liturgy, cultural nationalism as a preoccupation of Irish musicology, the narrative of church music from 1800 to the present day, church music and Irish traditional music, the organ in Irish music festivals, church music education in France, the technical development of the organ in Germany and the work of individual organists and church musicians in Ireland and continental Europe.
There’s a scholarly summation of the history of Irish traditional music by Martin Dowling, but little thought is given to modern Irish musicians’ ability to translate natural aptitude into commercial and critical success, from Van Morrison and U2 to Glen Hansard and Hozier, above Are the Irish different? Argument begets counterargument: we’re a nation of narcissists cursed with self-obsession born of low self-esteem engendered by generations of colonisation.In his enormous, two-volume biography of Yeats, the Irish historian RF Foster begins by defending his exhaustive, chronological approach to the poet’s life.“We do not, alas, live our lives in themes,” he writes, “but day by day.” A wave of autobiographical books from new Irish writers reject the idea that life cannot be experienced thematically, adopting an approach that is at once fragmentary, fluid, personal and expansive, and using that most malleable of forms: the essay. Initially published by the independent Tramp Press in Ireland in 2018, it contains six essays on Pine’s experiences of alcoholism, grief, parental separation, the female body, sexual violence and workplace sexism. Gleeson’s book is a personal history both grounded in the stories of her body, with essays on bones, hair, blood, pregnancy and surgery, and illuminated by interrogations of the art, literature and music that have influenced her.No wonder Irish studies are an international industry., a collection of essays by prominent academics and sociologists, edited by Tom Inglis, a professor at University College Dublin, suggests not that we don’t talk enough about our collective identity but that we’re often found discussing the wrong subjects.But in a dissertation entitled Kieran Allen writes: “There is, in fact, a myth among many academics and journalists that Irish people have not protested. “While the political elite have been extremely skilful in drawing on a historic style of rule to manage the crisis, they must still rely on a promise that sacrifices today will bring rewards tomorrow.It is a myth that is sustained by the way protests have been covered in the media and debated in the public sphere . When those rewards appear ever more distant, there is likely to be considerable ‘austerity fatigue’.Listening Question For the listening question you will be asked questions on three excerpts.You should be familiar with Irish dances, instruments, sean nós singing, categories of Irish songs, features of Irish music, features of the peformance of Irish music and different types of ensembles. If you run out of questions you can: start again at the beginning and redo them (you won't remember all the answers), ask your teacher for more or play random recordings of Irish music on youtube or itunes and list all the features you can hear (type of dance/song, instruments/ensemble, features of the music and the performance). Written Question You must write a very short essay and have a choice of four questions.And although the editor may have justifiably skimmed over Irish literature, given the sheer volume of studies written about the old guard of Joyce, Yeats, Beckett and so on, there’s surely cause to investigate how the boom-and-bust era heralded a mini literary renaissance, spawning a generation of younger stars, among them Kevin Barry, Donal Ryan and Eimear Mc Bride.Elsewhere there’s a scholarly summation of the history of Irish traditional music by Martin Dowling, but little thought is given to modern Irish musicians’ ability to translate natural aptitude into commercial and critical success, from Van Morrison and U2 to Glen Hansard and Hozier.