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“Before the Irish became comprehended as Celtic, they were imagined to be Oriental”, tells Joseph Lennon in his famous work Irish Orientalism. In fact, authors in Ireland and England initiated a debate lot time ago that the Irish varied from English and other Europeans due to their mixed Asian origins. Writers such as Edward Said, Homi Bhabha, David Lloyd and Joseph Lennon trace Irish writing from the Gothic period to the twentieth century and approaches Irish writing in a global context.
The paper links scholarly origins of Irish Orientalism; sheds light on the happening of Orientalism and Celticism in Europe; helps to trace the intellectual history of Ireland, which is commonly referred to as Europe’s first modern colony. Finally, the paper compares Ireland’s cross-colony relationships with other British colonies- especially India. It also offers an opportunity for comparative study of the Irish colonial to post-colonial transition in the global accessory, as an alternative to the European.
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In the latter context some scholars have tended to overlook the colonial aspect of the Irish experience. David Lloyd comes up with a sharp definition of colonialism, in the consequence of which he names Ireland as “a bourgeois post-colony... a conduit of neo-colonial capital” (78). He offers some analyzes showing resemblance between Ireland and India and provides some insights into the progress of the industrial proletariat in the north- east predicated on the colonial social relations.
Joseph Lennon (Manhattan College) is quoted to present a paper on Irish Orientalism. This author brings out the perplexities of the subject, ranging from the fantasies of Vallencey in the early RIA, through Mahaffey and his Primitive Civilizations to the Yeats-Tagore association. Subramanian Shankar rediscovers the some poets, whose works at Irish literary revival-time have been presented to the general public, but who vanished from the scene after going to India.
This author tells about people who eventually developed becoming educational reformers and proclaiming the scientific study of geography. Edward Said in his papers on Orientalism decidedly offers the alternative view of Irish post-colonial projects.
Such collectings of works on Irish Orientalism is indeed a positive input, from mostly US-based scholarship, to the historical comprehension of the evolution of Irish culture, resulting from the work of working Irish Studies centres.
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