Irish Literary Revival By Hu, Jane
The Irish Literary Revival — also known as the ‘Irish Literary Renaissance’ or ‘The Celtic Twilight’ — describes a movement of increased literary and intellectual engagement in Ireland starting in the 1890s and occurring into the early twentieth century. As a literary movement, the Irish Literary Revival was deeply engaged in a renewed interest in Ireland’s Gaelic heritage as well as the growth of Irish nationalism during the nineteenth century. Indeed, the Irish Literary Revival was only a part — though a significant one — of a more general national movement called the ‘Gaelic Revival’, which engaged in Irish heritage on the intellectual, athletic, linguistic, and political levels. For instance, the Literary Revival coincided with the formation of the Gaelic League in 1893, which sought to revive interest in Irish language and culture more broadly. The Irish Literary Revival is also sometimes referred to as the Anglo-Irish Literary Revival because it revitalized Irish literature not through the Irish language, but in English. In addition, many of its leading members were part of the Anglo-Irish Protestant class. As a movement, the Irish Literary Revival is difficult to encapsulate, partly because of the range and reach of its various members, and also because the work that emerged from it was often experimental and widely diverse in focus, style, and genre.