Studies on modern Irish writers have oft-noted Nietzschean connections, while projects on Nietzsche have used modernist Irish writers’ adoption of Nietzschean principles as evidence of the reach of the German philosopher’s influence. These plenitudinous “links,” are, at this point, so firmly established they have become accepted facts. With few exceptions, these clever analyses often explore the relationships between Irish writers and Friedrich Nietzsche as individual case studies and suggest that their interest in philosophy was somehow unique among their contemporaries. In fact, Irish literati in the fin de siècle period were preoccupied by questions of collective and individual identity, and Nietzsche’s concepts provided a critical lexicon and crucial rhetoric with which Irish writers made their own ideas salient. The Irish response to Nietzschean thought must be interpreted as collaborative process that was born out of the Literary Revival’s contest to define and control the social, intellectual, and aesthetic voice of...

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