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Heathcliff and the Great Hunger:
When James Joyce called the Irish "the most belated race in Europe", he stated a complex truth about the history of his people and the nation they had been creating since the 18th century. The Irish would, in Joyce's liftime, write many of the masterpieces of modernism in English, while at the same time forging a nation-state in many ways still backward-looking and traditionalist. The paradox of Irish history is one of the many topics addressed in this book. It explores the interrelation of Irish political history and Irish literature, and reconfigures the contours of Irish cultural history. Including an examination of the Anglo-Irish novel from Swift to George Moore, the book discusses a host of unusual topics, from Shaw and science and Irish attitudes, to nature and the question of language, and a full-scale investigation of the Celtic revival. Terry Eagleton is the author of "Ideology", "Marxism and Literary Criticism", "Criticism and Iedology", "Walter Benjamin" and "Literary Theory: An Introduction". [via]