This collection of articles entitled Narrating Ireland in Different Genres and Media is intended as a contribution to a by now well-established tradition of literary and cultural research that regards narratives as all-pervading structures of meaning-making and focuses on the narrative construction of national identities. What, then, is the need for this volume? What new perspectives does it bring to bear on the relationship of ‘narratives’ and ‘narration’ on the one hand, and ‘Ireland’1 on the other? In the pages that follow, Irish literature and culture are approached by scholars with an interest in exploring the various narrative strategies, narrative patterns and/or communicative frames that characterise genre- and media-specific ways of storytelling. They do not use the term ‘narrative’ solely as a rather vague (Lyotardian) synonym for discourse formations, but explore how defining aspects of narratives and narration – such as emplotment, narrative voice and focalisation, or the inextricable correlation of identity and narrative discourse as well as that of narrative space and time – are fashioned and refashioned in different genres and media.
Narrating Ireland in Different Genres and Media is published as part of the prestigious peer-reviewed Irish Studies in Europe publication series, produced under the aegis of the European Federations of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies (EFACIS). Previous volumes in the series have featured prominent writers and academics including (among many others) the late poet and Nobel Laurette Seamus Heaney, former Ireland Professor of Poetry Harry Clifton, acclaimed poet Rita Ann Higgins and academics Declan Kiberd, Anne Saddlemeyer, and Ruth Barton.