Combative Minority Literature Writers in the Aftermath of the Great War: Douwe Kalma, Saunders Lewis, Hugh MacDiarmid and Roparz Hemon

Krol, J., 2018, [Groningen]: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. 407 p.

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  • Jelle Krol
As a unique comparative study of four minority language literatures, Frisian, Welsh, Scots and Breton, this book offers an analysis of the work of four vanguard writers who aimed to create distinctive literary fields for their languages in the aftermath of the Great War when self-determination was promised to national minorities. The study is undertaken from Pascale Casanova’s perspective that work written in minority languages by authors originating from late nineteenth or early twentieth century emergent nations should be regarded as ‘littératures combatives’. Following the analysis of seminal texts from the early works written by Frisian author Douwe Kalma (1896-1953), Welsh playwright Saunders Lewis (1893-1985), Scots poet Hugh MacDiarmid (1892-1978) and Breton writer Roparz Hemon (1900-1978), their several strategies are distinguished and compared. In the concluding chapter Pascale Casanova’s ‘Irish Paradigm’ is compared with the ‘Reculer pour mieux sauter’ pattern discerned in the work of the four authors. The study argues that all four authors had to make the inevitable step backwards into the past in order to leap forward into the post-Great War era and discusses the problems resulting from this inescapable oscillation between traditionalism and modernism.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
Award date26-Jun-2018
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-94-034-0656-5
Electronic ISBNs978-94-034-0655-8
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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