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The Midnight Court / Cúirt an Mheán Oíche

A Critical Edition

Brian Ó Conchubhair is associate professor of Irish language and literature at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of numerous articles and Irish-language instructional materials, and the editor of Why Irish? Irish Language and Literature in Ac

Publication Year: 2011

Banned and beloved in equal measure, The Midnight Court is a canonical eighteenth-century text widely considered to be one of the greatest comic Irish poems. Despite its simple storyline, Merriman’s poem addresses a wide range of themes from its satirical treatment of sexuality to its biting social commentary. This volume, the first critical edition, offers readers a fluid translation and five essays that contextualize the poem, making it an ideal text for any student of the poem and eighteenth-century Irish literature.

Published by: Syracuse University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

helly Barber (John J. Burns Library, Boston College), Beth Bland, Matthew Campbell (University of Sheffi eld), Patrick Griffi n, Christopher Fox, Ita Daly, Hugh Fogarty (UCD), James W. Hamrick, David Horn (John J. Burns Library, Boston College), Ken Kenslow, Dyann Mawhorr...

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Introduction

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pp. xiii-xxvi

Cúirt an Mheán Oíche is a late-eighteenth-century Irish-language poem of over one thousand lines composed by Brian Merriman in County Clare, Ireland.1 Considered “one of the greatest...

Part One

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The Midnight Court

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pp. 3-44

The first part, in which the poet while savouring the pleasures of the great outdoors is forced to pay a visit to court where a pertinent case is at hearing...

Part Two

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Cúirt an Mheán Oíche

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pp. 47-58

What is it about Cúirt an Mheán Oíche/The Midnight Court that summons us to listen to its call? Why does one poem from the west coast of Ireland still exercise the mind and imagination of translators, scholars, social historians...

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The Two Enlightenments of Brian Merriman’s County Clare

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pp. 59-69

The intellectual background of Brian Merriman’s Cúirt an Mheán Oíche/The Midnight Court, and the relative weightings of its ostensible cultural and intellectual provenances, are issues which have long exercised Irish literature’s most...

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Courting an Elusive Masterwork

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pp. 70-77

Cúirt an Mheán Oíche/The Midnight Court is a hard text to pin down. It courts our attention with its dazzling wordplay and propulsively rhymed couplets but confounds our attempts at settled interpretation. How are we to parse its multidirectional mockery, its slippery, contending mix of parody...

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Approaching Cúirt an Mheán Oíche/The Midnight Court

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pp. 78-92

One of the most challenging aspects of a text like Brian Merriman’s ribald eighteenth-century masterpiece Cúirt an Mheán Oíche/The Midnight Court is determining how to read it as twentyfirst-century readers. This issue is particularly pertinent for those who approach the poem...

Timeline of Events in America,Europe, and Ireland: 1770–1807

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pp. 93-98

Glossary

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pp. 99-106

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Partial Publication and Production History

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pp. 107-122

The following list is intended to serve as a guide to the various editions, translations, versions, productions and interpretations of the text. Manuscript versions are not included.1

Additional Reading

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pp. 123-132

References

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pp. 133-138

Biographical Notes

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pp. 139-144

Index

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pp. 145-152


E-ISBN-13: 9780815650560
E-ISBN-10: 0815650566
Print-ISBN-13: 9780815632603
Print-ISBN-10: 0815632606

Page Count: 168
Illustrations: 4
Publication Year: 2011

Edition: 1
Series Title: Irish Studies