In this issue of Critical Survey we present a selection of essays
which demonstrate a range of critical approaches to a variety of
material within Anglo-Irish writing. The recalcitrant traditionalism
that previously marked this arena has long gone, replaced now by a
broadly analytical approach. Likewise, the traditionally established
and highly selective, mostly male canon of Anglo-Irish writing has
been replaced by a more inclusive arena and these articles represent
the diversity of scholarship and research across this expanded area.
One of the most significant changes within Anglo-Irish criticism in
the last decade has been in the volume of attention given to women
writers. Several essays here focus on women’s writing, recognising
Irish women writers’ legitimate inclusion across a range of genres.
Kathy Cremin examines the disparity between Irish women’s
increased opportunities in terms of determining their own lives and
the elisions and ambivalences regarding these at the heart of Patricia
Scanlan’s best-selling fiction. Helen Kidd explores the particular
poetic strategies of three of Ireland’s leading women poets, Naula Ní
Dhomhnaill, Eileán Ní Chuilleanain and Eavan Boland. Mary King
couples the plays of J. M. Synge and one of Ireland’s leading
contemporary playwrights, Marina Carr, in a timely exploration of
the treatment of ‘the other’ in Irish drama.