Ricorso is a large dataset of information about Irish writers and their works arranged in the form of a bio-bibliographical dictionary, with condensed biographies, lists of criticism and extracts from the works commentaries upon them. It also contains a digital library and a digital album as well as other sections devoted to journal bibliographies and gateways to different areas and sites of Irish studies. Ricorso contains a good deal of surprising information and material which other subject websites dont. It is the result of a more or less continuous compilation process on the part of its deviser over three decades.
Bruce Stewart is Assistant Editor of The Oxford Companion to Irish Literature, a former Literary Director of the Princess Grace Irish Liberary in Monaco, a two-term Secretary of the International Association for the Study of Anglo-Irish Literatures, a Reader Emeritus in English Literature at the University of Ulster (N. Ireland) and presently a Professor of English at the Federal University of Rio do Norte in Brazil. He has called the website a knowledge of Irish Literature because it traces the route of a life-long voyage in that body of writing on a path strewn with occasional impediments (some of his own making) and more miscalculations but always aimed at the heart of the matter of Ireland as nearly as his compass would allow.
The name and epigraph of the website are taken from James Joyces Finnegans Wake in recognition of the fact that his last book is the nearest approximation to a totalisation of the Irish world - and the world of culture and experience at large - ever attempted in print since the days of holy books, whose scale and purpose he imitates and parodies in equal proportions. Finally, the singular of knowledge in the sub-title averts to the limitations of its authorship - its partiality and even its random character. Abi Viator / Et imitare, si poteris.