Máirín Ní Donnchadha & Theo Dorgan, eds,. Revising the Rising (Derry: Field Day 1991).

CONTENTS, Contributors vii; Preface ix; Declan Kiberd, The Elephant of Revolutionary Forgetfulness [1]; Tom Garvin, The Rising and Irish Democracy [21]; Edna Longley, The Rising, the Somme and Irish Memory [29]; Gearoid O Crualaoich, Responding to the Rising [50]; Arthur Aughey, What is Living and what is Dead in the Ideal of 1916 [71], Seamus Deane, Wherever Green is Read [91]; Michael Laffan, Insular Attitudes: The Revisionists and their Critics [106]; J. J. Lee, In Search of Patrick Pearse [122]. Index 139.

Declan Kiberd: accuses organised cadre of repressing left-wing intellectuals who adopted a nationalist but non-Provisional stance. [9];

What created the modern IRA was not any cultural force but the bleak, sectarian realities of life in the corrupt statelet of Northern Ireland [13]

old-fashion conservative nationalists … played right into the hands of the new-fangled revisionists who were happy to demolish the cardboard caricature … [14]

Field Day warned that one could not implement the dream of an absolute return to a mythic Gaelic past and that one should not submit to the shallow cosmopolitanism which sought to fill the ensuing vacuum. [16]

Argues that a critique of imperialism in Ireland which eschewed the reactionary polarity or division between English and Irish was ‘dreadfully retarded by the executions’ and therefore ‘left to decolonising peoples elsewhere to complete’, viz. Franz Fanon and Ashis Nandy [16]

Tom Garvin: The Rising and Democracy

.. the true tragedy of the 1912-21 period was the absence of a really consensual politics in British ruled Ireland [21] … essentially my contention is that the British caused 1916, the War of Independence, and the Civil War by their self-indulgent misrule over a long period … [24]

Irish Catholic clerical fear of Protestant proselytism and British and Irish anti-Catholic bigotry formed an irresistible Holy Alliance aginast the provision of university education for Catholics. [23]

The national schools, the convents and the Christian Brothers created a stratum of highly intelligent, well-trained and incompletely educated young men and women who were perfect material for revolutionary politics of the new century. [24]

Gearoid Ó Crualaioch
.. the vogue now among government ministers and senior civil servants is to bring business criteria to bear on their enterprises in a way tha does considerable violence to the rich human values and aspirations to which the perpetrators of the Easter Rising strong to give witness [67]

A culturally healthy society will provide all its member as with a sense of worth and a vision of the common good … Irish society is patently not succeeding in doing this … it behoves the educated middle class … to look for ways in which the experience of Irish people can be made more likely to provide them with that sense and that vision. Working on enriching Irish mythic discourse is one possibility, and the myth of 1916 as good a starting point as any. [68]

Today Irish people badly need to learn how to allow their own lives to be elucidated and valorised for themselves by a variety of mythological and cultural resources, of which their own Irish repertoire - including 1916, and, of course, 1688, - forms a part. [68]

Arthur Aughey

.. what is living and what is dead in the revolutionary tradition of 1916. By implication, it is also to recommend what should become the public doctrine of the republican state. [72]

‘The fighting Irish’, a rather cunning English invention … [74]

There is much of value in the social life of the Republic which has been bequeathed by the outlook and energies of people like Pearse (whether violence was necessary to achieve this is a moot point.) [79]

Citizenship may appear less heroic and less warm or intimate. Politics may seem more selfish. Irish society is richer and more various than communal idylls would ever have allowed [84]

The rebels hostility to all things English was (almost withour exception) a hostility to all things Protestant. [86]

That the anniversary passed off the way it did, without any great clamour, indicates a healthy and robust attitude on the part of the Republic’s citizens. [86]

In Northern Ireland, Republicanism means armed struggle. … This ideological throw-back is an acute discomfort to the republican state. [87]

Dublin must thread a delicate path. It seems very much in its interest that Northern Ireland should remain part of Great Britain. [88]

Seamus Deane
Tour-de-force attack - at Roy Foster’s Modern Ireland (note ‘Pavlovian dogmatism’, 94).

Pluralism has only one time, the present; everything else is, literally, anachronistic. It has the egregious tolerance of the indifferent to anything or anyone else who is willing to live in a hermetically sealed microclimate of individual or group privacy. Alas, it is also very expensive. The economic system must be functioning at a high level to sustain it and it can do that only in specific places and specific times. Ireland cannot afford to live in such present-ness. It must perforce live with its past. Tht is a matter of some resentment to this sort of liberal mind. [97]

Revisionists are nationalist despite themselves; by refusing to be Irish nationalists, they simply become defenders of Ulster or British nationalism, thereby switching sides … [102]

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