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The Female Figure in Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s Poetry

Boyle Haberstroh,Patricia

Publication Year: 2013

This is a six chapter study of the image of the female in Ní Chuilleanáin’s poetry emphasizing the ways in which she revises conventional cultural images of women in order to challenge stereotypical images and create a more multidimensional perspective on women’s lives and achievements. It explores the way in which she uses history, myth and folklore, religion and ritual, and architectural space to revise and create alternative female figures.

Published by: Cork University Press


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7


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pp. 8-8

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pp. viii-viii

Iwish to thank La Salle University in Philadelphia for grants and release from teaching which allowed me to work on this book, and the Fulbright Foundation for a fellowship to begin ...

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CHAPTER 1 - Beginnings

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pp. 1-21

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin once explained: ‘What attracts me is that which I do not know’.2 Sometimes stepping over boundaries into unknown territory brings enlightenment; however, often ...

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CHAPTER 2 - Female Figures and Poetic Strategies

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pp. 22-37

In discussing a woman poet creating female figures, and any meaning the poem might suggest, the issues of both intention and poetic strategies arise. We need to understand that a subjective poetic voice is ...

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CHAPTER 3 - Imagining History

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pp. 38-59

Ní Chuilleanáin’s interest in history is apparent in all of her work, but hers is a historiography defined in its broadest sense from the political history of Ireland and beyond, to her own personal and family..

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CHAPTER 4 - Fictive Women: Myth and Folklore

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pp. 40-80

An interesting debate has developed over the differences between myth and history and each as a source of knowledge. In an essay on ‘Myth, History and Theory’, Peter Heehs sums up the debate: ‘positivist ...

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CHAPTER 5 - Women and the Sacred

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pp. 81-107

One of the more intriguing aspects of Ní Chuilleanáin’s work is her interest in the sacred and the spiritual, demonstrated often through traditional religious imagery. The connections with history are ...

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CHAPTER 6 - Presence and Place

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pp. 108-127

As we can see from the cloisters and chapels and churches described in the previous chapter, we cannot read Ní Chuilleanáin’s poems without being struck by her interest in architecture and the ways in which ...

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CHAPTER 7 - Transformation and Translation

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pp. 128-149

The copious dark in the final poem of The Sun-fish, discussed at the end of the last chapter, has applications not only to space and place but also to language. In discussing the value of Renaissance rhetoric, ...

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CHAPTER 8 - Conclusion

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pp. 150-155

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s ability to tease many associations and meanings from images and what she calls ‘slippery’ words is a key to her work, as well as to how she views human experience. Hers is a world ...


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pp. 157-172

Select Bibliography

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pp. 173-183


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pp. 185-194

Back Cover

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pp. 206-206

E-ISBN-13: 9781909005730
E-ISBN-10: 1909005738
Print-ISBN-13: 9781859184981
Print-ISBN-10: 1859184987

Page Count: 204
Publication Year: 2013

Edition: 1

OCLC Number: 859687093
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Female Figure in Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s Poetry

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