Recognition and Dissimulation: Nationalism and Genre in James Clarence Mangan's 'The Lovely Land'
James Clarence Mangan has been celebrated by James Joyce and W. B. Yeats as one of the preeminent Irish writers of the nineteenth century. This essay interprets his poem ‘The Lovely Land’, first printed in The Nation on 18 July 1846, in terms of genre and nationalism. In an early Irish example of ekphrasis, the poem stages a rhetorical misreading where the speaker mistakes an unnamed Irish landscape of Daniel Maclise’s for a painting by Veronese or Poussin. Where – among his English and German Romantic predecessors – might Mangan have found a precedent for the poem’s treatment of landscape? And how does the colonial relationship between Ireland and England fit in with the poem’s complex manoeuvring of different national iconographies? In seeking to answer these questions, this essay looks to
further the ‘mapping’ of Mangan’s position in Romanticism as an international movement.
Copyright: The authors and Aarhus University Press