‘Erse-atz’ & ‘Gaelassenheit’: What Can We Learn from Ó Nualláin’s Use of Irish?



The objective of this essay is to examine Brian ÓNualláin’s attempts at analysing anddisarming a particular type of obsessive attitude to the Irish language and posingits appositeness to contemporary academic discourse. In diagnosing a problemsuch as a neurosis, it is possible that it becomes self-perpetuating, and to acertain extent this is true of Irish. It is often difficult to divorce thelanguage from an expression of Irishness, and even in the case where it existsas a means of communication, the perception of its ‘Irishness’ remains. Ó Nualláin astutely assessed thistendency to bind the language to a conservative essentialised identity whichwould seek to exclude that which did not fall within the remit of such aprescribed identity. 

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Keywords: Irish studies, Irish language, Brian Ó Nualláin

How to Cite: Ó Néill, J. (2013) “‘Erse-atz’ & ‘Gaelassenheit’: What Can We Learn from Ó Nualláin’s Use of Irish?”, The Parish Review: Journal of Flann O'Brien Studies. 2(1). doi: