The role of landscape in Elizabeth Bowen’s Irish novels has been overshadowed by the critical emphasis on her representations of the Anglo-Irish big house. In contrast to this critical trend, this article argues that Bowen’s Irish landscapes stage questions of national identity and postcoloniality pervading mid-twentieth-century Irish culture and politics through negative epic forms, forms that reconfigure both realist and modernist conventions. In The Last September, landscape description reframes the scope of epic conventions and challenges narratives of geopolitical development, while in A World of Love, a late modern picturesque interrupts the romantic emplotment of Ireland’s entry into global capitalist networks.

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