Over the course of the period 1929 – 1967, approximately 10,000 books and periodicals were banned in Irelands, as Lynne Kelleher remarked “some for a single word or sentence which was considered obscene and deemed to have shameless content”. This lecture will examine the factors which led to the enactment of the 1929 Censorship Act in the newly formed Irish Free State. It is paramount to examine the Act within the social, economic and political culture of the time, in order to gain an understanding of what would now be widely considered repressive legislation.
During the 20th century, censorship became almost a rite of passage for Irish authors. Writers including James Joyce, Kate O’Brien, Samuel Beckett, Edna O’Brien and John McGahern were to have works censored under this ‘repressive’ legislation. A case study analysis of Eric Cross’ book ‘The Tailor and Ansty’ about the life of the Irish tailor and storyteller, Timothy Buckley, and his wife Anastasia (“Ansty”) Buckley and the subsequent political debate it provoked in 1942 will also be discussed.
Date: Wednesday 12th February
Time: 5.30 pm
Venue: room F02 (main campus, opposite Centra)
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