gagingly written history, biography, and critical appreciation of Mahon's life in poetry. BRENDAN CORCORAN The Ordnance Survey and Modern Irish Literature, by Cóilín Parsons, pp. 247. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. $90. Cóilín Parsons effectively broadens the scope of the British Board of Ordnance's Survey (1824-1846), which mapped Ireland on the unprecedented scale or representative fraction of six inches to one mile, to yield a novel study of emergent modernism in Irish literature. Mindful of the iconic status of the Ordnance Study maps and declaring his "story" to be "the relationship between a modern mapping project and the emergence of modernist form," Parsons argues that this signal modern project--the abstraction of landscape so that it could be made to fit the demands of scientific representation . . . is a defining point in the cultural history of Ireland, and its imprint was felt for decades after the initial survey was completed. In the sphere of literature, responses and challenges to the Survey and its mode of cartographic representation enliven and invigorate Irish writing as subsequent generations of writers grapple with the challenges of representing the geography of an island undergoing rapid and shocking change. Apart from an occasional
New Hibernia Review – Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas
Published: Feb 5, 2016
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