How Has the Turbulent History of Northern Ireland Changed the Literary Landscape?
From The History of Literature Podcast with Jacke Wilson
For tens of thousands of years, human beings have been using fictional devices to shape their worlds and communicate with one another. Four thousand years ago they began writing down these stories, and a great flourishing of human achievement began. We know it today as literature, a term broad enough to encompass everything from ancient epic poetry to contemporary novels. How did literature develop? What forms has it taken? And what can we learn from engaging with these works today?
Hosted by Jacke Wilson, an amateur scholar with a lifelong passion for literature, The History of Literature takes a fresh look at some of the most compelling examples of creative genius the world has ever known.
The literary world has long celebrated the incredible contributions of Ireland and its writers, with a special focus on Dublin-centric writers like James Joyce and W.B. Yeats. Meanwhile, Northern Ireland has been quietly turning out some excellent work as well, thanks to figures like C.S. Lewis and Seamus Heaney, among many others.
Are there common themes uniting the Irish writers—and the Northern Irish writers in particular? How has the tumultuous history of Northern Ireland worked its way into the writings of its best novelists and poets? In this episode, Jacke talks to Alexander Poots about his new book The Strangers’ House: Writing Northern Ireland. Plus, Jacke talks to author Laura Lee (Wilde Nights & Robber Barons) about her choice for the last book she will ever read.