After the Crash: Post-Celtic Tiger Literature in Ireland Open Access

Weisblatt, Robert Laurence (2015)

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The Celtic Tiger is the name attributed to a period of economic prosperity in Ireland from 1995-2008. However, the Celtic Tiger has come to represent a larger period and more than just prosperity because of the way that it was brought to a swift end in 2008 by a crippling recession. The effects of this economic rollercoaster are felt throughout all of Ireland and remain a nascent issue today. This thesis is an investigation of the cultural effects of the Celtic Tiger and subsequent crash as manifested through literature. First, it provides an analysis of the Irish literary tradition and how the rampant commodification of the Celtic Tiger has changed the way that contemporary critics and citizens view historically famous authors in Ireland. From these changing perspectives, we transition into an analysis of three fiction authors currently working in Ireland. The works of Claire Kilroy, Paul Murray, and Kevin Barry deal with the Celtic Tiger and its aftermath through both narrative and style. The unique ways that each author has chosen to characterize and/or satirize this period says a great deal about the cultural influence of such economic flux. These authors also represent a transitional period, in which Irish authors had previously had a reputation for looking back into the past, whereas now, authors are engaging with the world around them as it is changing. This thesis concludes with an investigation of whether or not these authors are examples of a new literary movement in Ireland and whether or not academics in the future will perhaps study a period of literature known as Post-Celtic Tiger Fiction.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction 1-11

II. Fictionalizaing a Catastrophe: Claire Kilroy's The Devil I Know 12-30

III. The Works of Paul Murray

i. A Day at the Races: Paul Murray's An Evening of Long Goodbyes 31-45

ii. Superstory Theory: Paul Murray's Skippy Dies 46-62

IV. The Works of Kevin Barry

i. "All Our Yesterdays": Kevin Barry's City of Bohane 63-75

ii. Mythbreaking: Kevin Barry's There Are Little Kingdoms 75-82

V. Conclusion 83-88

VI. Works Cited 89-91

VII. Acknowledgments 92

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