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Focus your response to each of the general questions below by considering no more than three texts per question. You can choose among the texts in this Topic and in NAEL, or consider other Irish texts you have read elsewhere.

  1. Is "postcolonial" an appropriate description of twentieth-century texts by Irish writers writing in English? Should the appellation apply to both an Irish writer who writes overtly "political" poems and an Irish writer who does not write about politics?
  2. Compare the ways in which three contemporary Irish writers address questions of gender and gender disparity.
  3. What are the characteristics of an Irish-inflected English? Consider literary representations of Irish-inflected English rather than the exaggerated caricatures of Irish speech you may have seen on television and in films.
  4. How pervasive is the influence of W. B. Yeats on Irish poetry, and how would we measure this influence? Identify and analyze thematic as well as formal influences.
  5. Can we define a specifically Northern Irish literary tradition? Why or why not? If your answer is yes, identify some of the distinguishing characteristics of that tradition.
  6. Many scholars believe that Irish drama has been more daringly experimental than English drama in the twentieth century. Do you agree? Support your response with specific examples. How have a) The Abbey Theatre and b) The Field Day Theatre Company contributed to this spirit of experimentation and innovation?
  7. A number of Irish autobiographies and autobiographical novels and short stories have been adapted for film and/or television in recent years (Angela's Ashes, for example). Compare the original and the adaptation, paying particular attention to how the film version diverges from the original text. What might account for the differences between the original text and the adaptation?

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