Terror and Irish Modernism: The Gothic Tradition from Burke to Beckett

James A Hansen

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook


Terror and Irish Modernism offers a synoptic overview of modern Irish fiction. Covering more than two centuries of literary production, Jim Hansen locates the root structure of modern Irish fiction in the masculine gender anxiety of one of the nineteenth century’s most popular literary genres: the Gothic. Addressing both the decolonization of Ireland and the politics of literary form, Hansen sheds new light on canonical works by Maria Edgeworth, C. R. Maturin, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, and Samuel Beckett by reading them all as part of the generic tradition of the Irish Gothic. He focuses in particular on how the Irish Gothic tradition translated the English Gothic’s female-confinement narrative into a story about confined, feminized male protagonists. In reading this male gender-disorientation as the foundational condition of modern Irish political identity, Terror and Irish Modernism provides a thoroughly new genealogy of modern Irish fiction.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationAlbany
PublisherSUNY Press
Number of pages209
ISBN (Print)9781438428222, 9781438428215
StatePublished - 2009

Publication series

NameStudies in the Long Nineteenth Century


  • Gothic fiction (Literary genre), English
  • Modernism (Literature)
  • Terror in literature
  • Ireland
  • Gothic revival (Literature)
  • English fiction


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