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This article is taken from PN Review 220, Volume 41 Number 2, November - December 2014.

Eavan Boland’s Daring Integrity: A Quick Glance at the Poet’s Context Thomas McCarthy
The essence of Irish imagination has been in the provinces: County Cork, depraved, as Beckett’s Murphy growls, thinking, no doubt, of Daniel Corkery’s crowd at a Munster Hurling Final rather than Miss Counihan’s lover upon the tomb of Father Prout in Beckett’s Murphy. Such provincial culture (think stories of Daniel Corkery, plays of T.C. Murray, paintings of Seán Keating) is male, sporting, homespun as a Connemara holiday and, sometimes, stupid with alcohol. It is what every Irishwoman has had to negotiate, that lethal conjunction of laddish politics and ‘national feeling’ – a feeling so alarmingly identified by Yeats in his Journal of 14 March 1909:

So long as all is ordered for attack, and that alone, leaders will instinctively increase the number of enemies that they may give their followers something to do, and Irish enemies rather than English because they are the more easily injured, and because the greater the enemy the greater the hatred and therefore the greater the power. They would give a nation the frenzy of a sect.

And all of this so aptly captured by an editorial in An Camán of 6 January 1934:

We of the Irish-Ireland movement are wholeheartedly behind this anti-jazz campaign. In these columns we have never ceased to stress the dangers, morally and nationally, which jazz music and jazz dance hold for our people, especially in rural areas. The false tolerance towards jazz, speciously advanced in argument by those who advocate freedom of choice in pastimes and recreations, ...


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