Ulster University Logo

Heaney and Muldoon: Omphalos and Diaspora

Kennedy-Andrews, Elmer (2006) Heaney and Muldoon: Omphalos and Diaspora. In: Paul Muldoon: Poetry, Prose, Drama: A Collection of Critical Essays. (Eds: Kennedy-Andrews, Elmer), Colin Smythe, pp. 101-127. ISBN 0-86140-459-9 [Book section]

Full text not available from this repository.


The essay argues that for Heaney, place is the primal and primary determinant - the ground, the omphalos - of identity, stability and continuity for both self and community. Displaced from origins, from family and community, from a traditional folkloric ethos and magical world-view, he reconstitutes himself in a literary culture through which he seeks to recuperate and re-enter the 'first place' of childhood, to re-discover the mythical centre, the omphalos, in the super-reality of the text. By contrast, Muldoon dispels the sacramental sense of place, essentialist notions of identity, and nostalgic visions of lost plenitude. His alter/native text relishes the dialogue of difference, creating a world of process in which language, identity, tradition, nation are scattered, and we are inducted into hybrid states and composite cultures.

Item Type:Book section
Keywords:Seamus Heaney; Paul Muldoon; contemporary Irish poetry; home; diaspora; migrancy
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Arts
Faculty of Arts > School of English and History
Research Institutes and Groups:Arts and Humanities Research Institute
Arts and Humanities Research Institute > English
ID Code:14017
Deposited By: Professor Elmer Kennedy-Andrews
Deposited On:01 Jun 2010 08:38
Last Modified:22 Jul 2015 10:12

Repository Staff Only: item control page