Shakespeares wake : appropriation and cultural politics in Dublin, 1867-1922
William Shakespeare has led a rich and varied afterlife in Ireland. That this\ud history documents the development of distinct Shakespeares in circulation\ud during different periods also reveals unique possibilities for understanding the\ud relationship between the literatures of England and Ireland at particular cultural\ud moments. Shakespeares Wake: Appropriation and Cultural Politics in Dublin,\ud 1867-1922, interrogates the ways in which the contentious Anglo-Irish cultural\ud politics that obtained in Dublin between the Fenian and Easter risings shaped\ud the Shakespeares of Matthew Arnold’s lectures On the Study of Celtic Literature\ud (1867), Edward Dowden’s Shakspere: A Critical Study of His Mind and Art (1875),\ud and the early essays of W. B. Yeats first collected in Ideas of Good and Evil (1903)\ud and The Cutting of an Agate (1912). But James Joyce’s own (ab)use of the\ud Shakespearean text in Ulysses (1922) underscores the instability of the binary\ud oppositions with which Arnold, Dowden, and Yeats had each constructed their\ud appropriations, demonstrating the pernicious manner in which the terms of Anglo-Irish cultural politics had come to mediate the relationship between the\ud colonial reading subject and its object in Dublin during the late nineteenth\ud century. Joyce’s Shakespeare in this way marks the point where the discourse of\ud literary history ends and that of the literary as such starts.