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Languages of the Night
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Languages of the Night: Minor Languages and the Literary Imagination in Twentieth-Century Ireland and Europe

Barry McCrea


This book argues that the sudden decline of old rural vernaculars—such as French patois, Italian dialects, and the Irish language—caused these languages to become the objects of powerful longings and projections that were formative of modernist writing. Seán í Ríordáin in Ireland and Pier Paolo Pasolini in Italy reshaped minor languages to use as private idioms of poetry; the revivalist conception of Irish as a lost, perfect language deeply affected the work of James Joyce; the disappearing dialects of northern France seemed to Marcel Proust to offer an escape from time itself. Drawing on a br ... More

Keywords: Minor languages, Modernism, Irish Language, Gaelic language, Patois, Dialect, Seán í Ríordáin, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Marcel Proust, James Joyce

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780300185157
Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2015 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300185157.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Barry McCrea, author
University of Notre Dame

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