Monday, June 12, 2023

Was He Apollo’s Son? Plato of Athens: A Life in Philosophy

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Was He Apollo’s Son? Plato of Athens: A Life in Philosophy Literary Review 

History weighs heavily in Irish literature, says Christopher Morash, who is the inaugural Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing at Trinity College, and the author of Dublin: A Writer's City.

"There's a sense that Irish history is a fractured history — a broken history," Morash tells ABC RN's Return Ticket.

He points to the country's Great Famine as a major rupture.

Between 1845 and 1852, 1 million people died from starvation in Ireland, and 1 million more fled the country — many to Australia.

The effects of this collective trauma can be seen in the rise of Irish modernism, which emerged as an artistic movement in the late 1800s.

Modernism's embrace of the new appealed to a generation of artists and writers scarred by a traumatic past.

"I think one of the reasons that Irish writers respond so strongly to modernism is that there's a sense [that] … 'We need to make this place new again,'" Morash says.

It's a sentiment that was held by the Irish poet and writer William Butler Yeats. 

"In about 1900, he says that the Ireland of his day is like a ball of soft wax," says Morash. "It's here, ready to be remade."

"It's almost that sense that there was a lost ancient past. And so you have to remake the present in some new way."

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