Irish literature: Video interview

Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett … the contribution of Ireland to “English Literature” is enormous. Modern Irish writers continue to enjoy a dominance that is quite out of proportion with the country’s population size. So what is the secret behind Ireland’s literary success story?In this interview Irish historian Dr Eamonn Noonan tries to answer this question - and views U2’s Bono’s iconic status from a surprising historical perspective!

Discussion questions:

  1. What are the great themes of Irish literature, according to Eamonn? Why are these themes so important?
  2. Eamonn puts the Irishman’s love for words and literature in a very old historical context. What context is this?
  3. What are the parallels between the pre-Christian poet of ancient Ireland and U2’s Bono?
  4. Are there any “great themes” in Norwegian literature, do you think?