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Chapter Summary

Because of the global position of English in the contemporary world order, the linguistic and cultural position of Ireland in relation to Europe is complex and the value accorded in Ireland to European linguistic and cultural diversity is no less intricate. Even a cursory glance at the importance given in (some) Irish universities to European and non-European languages other than English fully substantiates that point. The collapsed economic boom, based entirely on a property and financial bubble, further complicated matters. A recent Irish film, Once, directed by John Carney, subtly reveals some of these complications. The film concentrates on cross-European, intercultural, inter-lingual communication and miscommunication and on empathy and harmony, emphasising the creative value of linguistic and artistic bricolage. The highly positive value of this mode of meaningful contact and (mis)communication is, however, resolutely positioned on the margins of contemporary Ireland. The consumerism of the Celtic Tiger and its general contempt for cultural and linguistic values resistant to, or situated outside, the smooth circuits of the global market, are notable for their absence from this film.



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