chapter  4
40 Pages

Modernism and the Gender of Writing

DECADENCE, DEGENERATION AND REVOLTING AESTHETICS

The period from 1890 to 1910 was an important one in the development of the Irish novel, though fi ction is frequently overlooked in the critical concentration on the more spectacular achievements of the theater and poetry of the time. Of particular signifi cance was the development of fi ction by Irish women fueled by the emergence of a self-consciously political feminism. This chapter seeks to situate key Irish modernist texts in the complex web of cultural production, reception and interpretation where their meanings were once negotiated, to highlight their entanglement in contemporary debates about the interrelationship of body and politics, artifi ce and identity and to trace their negotiations between the complex claims of gender, class and nation.