Two Maps

The supervision that I was meant to have today has been postponed since my supervisor has been awaiting the birth of his first grandchild. I guess I’ll let him off this one time..

I’ve been working on some background reading and thinking towards my next chapter which will focus more on women’s traditions – or the lack thereof – in contemporary Northern Irish poetry. I’m quite excited about this bit…

While browsing for presents for myself presents for mother’s day I came across this literary map of the UK.

Literary map of the UK

A few things strike my about this, other than the quite reasonable price tag of £9.95. One is the border aspect – as in that the Republic of Ireland doesn’t seem to exist despite the fact that many Irish writers (pre-partition) were incredibly important to English literature. The other is the gender of the Northern Irish writers – Flann O’Brien, Seamus Heaney, Louis MacNeice, C.S. Lewis, Robert Graecan, John Hewitt and Derek Mahon. No surprises, but yet more reinforcement of the all male tradition.

The second map is from the cover of a book I currently have out from the English Faculty Library, which incidentally provides an interesting contrast.

Changing Ireland

Yup, that is a map of the whole of Ireland made out of women’s bodies. I’m no nationalist, but I increasingly feel that Northern Irish literature can’t ignore the contexts from the south, even if they are vastly different. The other message is that feminist analysis and women’s writing can go some way to changing the landscape. I’m all for that.

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