While reading Brown’s Cultural Nationalism, one idea that particularly stood out to me was their emphasis on nationalistic literature and their own language. The Irish Literary Revival placed a huge emphasis on creating an own identity using literature that emphasized Gaelic literary antiquity and Celtic ways of life. They believed in the ability for literature to power a cultural movement so much that they even believed it could act as a substitute for political activity.
I think its interesting to think about how this movement would pan out in modern day American society. In a world where information comes quick and easily, I don’t think literature would have prevailed as the medium for this cultural movement. People simply just don’t have the time or patience to sit down and read about their culture nowadays. Videos would likely be used instead – short, simple snippets of media that can reach large audiences and rile up the masses.
One big problem that would occur would be of an “authentic cultural nationalist identity”. As a self-proclaimed “melting pot of cultures”, America has ironically failed to create a unique culture for itself. A schism would have to occur within the American population, with each attaching to their own culture – this could be race-bound, state-bound, or even age-bound. There would have to be some sort of identity and language attached to it, and an idealism of it.
I think history is most interesting when it can be used to not repeat mistakes of the past or predict the future. In this case, the Irish Literary Revival movement needs a modern twist on the idea for it to be applicable for both.