“The Cabinet of Irish Literature”: a Historical Perspective on Irish Anthologies
Kelleher, Margaret (2003) “The Cabinet of Irish Literature”: a Historical Perspective on Irish Anthologies. Eire-Ireland, 38 (3/4). pp. 68-89.
AMONG the flurry of reviews and commentaries that followed the publication of volumes I to III of the Field DayAnthology of lrish Writing in iggi, those of most enduring interest moved beyond the heat of the moment to a more general reflection on the role of anthologies themselves. Francis Mulhern's 1993 essay, "A Nation, Yet Again" began, for example, with the cautionary pronouncement, by then all too evident, that "[a]nthologies are strategic weapons in literary politics."' Mulhern acknowledged that "authored texts of all kinds-poems, novels, plays, reviews, analyses-play more or less telling parts in a theatre of shifting alliances and antagonisms," but he argued for the special rhetorical force of anthologies in their "simulation of self evidence."
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