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'SAVED IN THE MAN AND IN THE NATION': THE SACRALIZATION OF THE SOIL IN TWENTIETH-CENTURY IRISH DRAMA

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Writing in the founding years of the Irish state Daniel Corkery observed that the land was a 'huge force in Irish life' and constituted one of the three elements which made up 'the Irish national being'. But while sacralised in the period of the Literary Revival as the 'hidden spring' from which the Irish nation drew its 'vitality', allegiance to the land has also been seen as a limitation. Working through plays from The Land (1905) to After Easter (1994) this article focuses on the dramatisation of responses to the demand to 'stay on the land and you'll be saved body and soul' as Ireland experiences the physical and psychological deracination consequent upon globalisation.

Affiliations: 1: School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Stavordshire, College Road, Stoke on Trent, ST4 2DE UK

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