Jarlath Killeen, Horror and the Irish Anglican Imagination in the Long Eighteenth Century (Book Review) - Irish University Review: a journal of Irish Studies

Jarlath Killeen, Horror and the Irish Anglican Imagination in the Long Eighteenth Century (Book Review)

By Irish University Review: a journal of Irish Studies

  • Release Date - Published: 2007-03-22
  • Book Genre: Reference
  • Author: Irish University Review: a journal of Irish Studies
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Jarlath Killeen, Horror and the Irish Anglican Imagination in the Long Eighteenth Century (Book Review) Irish University Review: a journal of Irish Studies read online review & book description:

Jarlath Killeen, Horror and the Irish Anglican Imagination in the Long Eighteenth Century. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2005. 240 pages. EUR 55.00/STG 45.00 (hardback). Jarlath Killeen is a veritable gothic profusion in himself: Horror and the Irish Anglican Imagination in the Long Eighteenth Century was one of two books to appear under his signature in 2005 alongside The Faiths of Oscar Wilde: Catholicism, Folklore and Ireland (favourably reviewed by Graham Price in a recent issue of Irish University Review). And there is something very timely (or perhaps untimely) about the appearance of this second book since the Gothic is 'hot' in Irish Studies right now, in 'critical fashion' as Killeen tells us (p.13), with recent books from Margot Backus, Joseph Valente, and Luke Gibbons, a new journal of Irish Gothic and Horror Studies (to the first issue of which the prolific Killeen is a contributor), and several other forthcoming studies. But is this sudden appearance of the Gothic on the Irish scene premature or belated, timely or untimely? On the field of Irish Studies we might say that Killeen's intervention is a timely one since only now is the Gothic beginning to be reckoned with rather than trivialized or marginalized (although I suspect that this is still the general feeling about the Gothic in the Irish academy). But to the outsider to Irish Studies one cannot help thinking that this particular ghost has shown up rather inexcusably late. The Gothic after all has been done to death and we have had numerous genealogies, regional studies, critical companions, journal issues and one might be tempted to say that the time of the Gothic has been and gone (if the Gothic ever has a time, it is after all, in the logic of the spectre so frequently operationalized throughout this book, always out of time, occupying a time out of joint). I have a spooky feeling that Killeen's book is everywhere haunted by a Freudian Nachtraglichkeit, a belatedness, but one which, I hope, will open up a new and exciting future for the study of Irish Gothic. Those wishing and waiting for such a long time for an exploration of the Gothic in eighteenth-century Ireland will not be disappointed; those hoping for a theory of Irish Gothic will have to look elsewhere or draw out theoretical conclusions for themselves.

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