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Schenectady Putters and Leaving Certificate Ta-Tas: Satirizing Irish Nation-Building in ‘Echo’s Bones’

  • Feargal Whelan
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Modern European Literature book series (PMEL)

Abstract

The decade directly following the achievement of Irish independence in 1922 witnessed the highly contested attempt to develop a coherent national identity which sought to accommodate inter alia the contrasting impulses of the historical tradition of Irish myth, the reality of a postcolonial existence, and the promotion of a modern industrialized nation based on new technology. ‘Echo’s Bones’, I argue, demonstrates Beckett’s direct assessment of the national debate through a savage parody of the Free State’s public attempts to provide a coherent new vision, by providing a significant and precise commentary on 1920s and 1930s Ireland that should be read as the author’s response of resistance to what he observed. The comic method which Beckett employs as political commentary will be demonstrated as a singularly modernist literary response, and one which he shares with a number of his Irish contemporaries.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Feargal Whelan
    • 1
  1. 1.UCD Humanities InstituteDublin 4Ireland

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