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Heaney and Muldoon: Omphalos and Diaspora

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Kennedy-Andrews, Elmer (2006) Heaney and Muldoon: Omphalos and Diaspora. In: Paul Muldoon: Poetry, Prose, Drama: A Collection of Critical Essays. (Eds: Kennedy-Andrews, Elmer), Colin Smythe, pp. 101-127. ISBN 0-86140-459-9 [Book section]

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Abstract

The essay argues that for Heaney, place is the primal and primary determinant - the ground, the omphalos - of identity, stability and continuity for both self and community. Displaced from origins, from family and community, from a traditional folkloric ethos and magical world-view, he reconstitutes himself in a literary culture through which he seeks to recuperate and re-enter the 'first place' of childhood, to re-discover the mythical centre, the omphalos, in the super-reality of the text. By contrast, Muldoon dispels the sacramental sense of place, essentialist notions of identity, and nostalgic visions of lost plenitude. His alter/native text relishes the dialogue of difference, creating a world of process in which language, identity, tradition, nation are scattered, and we are inducted into hybrid states and composite cultures.

Item Type:Book section
Keywords:Seamus Heaney; Paul Muldoon; contemporary Irish poetry; home; diaspora; migrancy
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Arts
Faculty of Arts > School of English and History
Research Institutes and Groups:Arts and Humanities Research Institute
Arts and Humanities Research Institute > English
ID Code:14017
Deposited By:Professor Elmer Kennedy-Andrews
Deposited On:01 Jun 2010 09:38
Last Modified:01 Jun 2010 09:38

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