Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Haunted historiographiesThe rhetoric of ideology in postcolonial Irish fiction$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Matthew Schultz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719090929

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719090929.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 16 September 2021

Gothic inheritance and the Troubles in contemporary Irish fiction

Gothic inheritance and the Troubles in contemporary Irish fiction

Chapter:
(p.129) 4 Gothic inheritance and the Troubles in contemporary Irish fiction
Source:
Haunted historiographies
Author(s):

Matthew Schultz

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719090929.003.0005

A look at Seamus Deane’s Reading in the Dark (1996) and Anna Burns’s No Bones (2002), novels in which child narrators relate their personal accounts of the Northern Troubles using the Gothic’s spectral modes and tropes. The Gothic mode in contemporary, postcolonial Irish writing generally serves to shadow the progress of Irish modernity. These novels expose the underside of postcolonial Irish nationhood: the ongoing struggle for a thirty-two county Republic, and recurring debates about whether Protestantism or Catholicism constitutes the ‘True’ national character. By re-imagining ancestral voices that speak of absolution rather than retribution, Dean and Burns break from popular political and social discourses that draw upon Ireland’s ghosts as a way of justifying recurrent political violence. Both authors employ the familiar trope of the past-haunted present from Celtic folklore, but reverse typical outcomes: haunting is imagined as a productive vehicle for moving the nation out of the past rather than for keeping it there. By focusing on the domestic consequences of the Troubles, specifically trauma experienced by children, both authors imagine a new generation of Irish individuals struggling to re-gain self-possession while remaining dedicated to a more egalitarian vision of Northern Irish society.

Keywords:   Gothic, Northern Irish Troubles, Violence, Trauma, Modernity

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.