Mythologising the Contemporary Ireland in North Heaney as the Modernist Postcolonial Poet

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assiociate Professor, English Language and Literature, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of Tehran, Tehran, I.R. Iran

2 Assistance Professor, English Language and Literature, Faculty of Foreign Languages, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, I.R.Iran

3 Student / University of Tehran


In his collection North, Heaney mythologizes the contemporary history of the people of Northern Ireland through conflating the mythological history of the people of Ireland, with the 1960s Troubles in Northern Ireland. Used by the modernist poets, the method of representing the contemporary history through recourse to mythology have been also favored by poets who have experienced colonial and postcolonial conditions. Though this method helps the people who live in postcolonial conditions to re-construct their ruined history through recourse to the past and national myths, it problematizes their understanding of the contemporary times, as the identification of the past and myth with the present undermines the distinctions which exist between the causes of murder and violence in the past and in the present. Hence, Not only Heaney’s mythologizing the present which conflates modernism with postcolonial historiography cannot resolve the socio-political problems in Northern Ireland, it reinforces violence in the society.


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