From Swift’s repulsive shit-flinging Yahoos to Beckett’s dying but never quite dead moribunds, Irish literature has long been perceived as being synonymous with subversion and all forms of subversiveness. But what constitutes a subversive text or a subversive writer in twenty-first-century Ireland? The essays in this volume set out to redefine and rethink the subversive potential of modern Irish literature. Crossing three central genres, one common denominator running through these essays whether dealing with canonical writers like Yeats, Beckett and Flann O’Brien, or lesser known contemporary writers like Sebastian Barry or Robert McLiam Wilson, is the continual questioning of Irish identity – Irishness – going from its colonial paradigm and stereotype of the subaltern in MacGill, to its uneasy implications for gender representation in the contemporary novel and the contemporary drama. A subsidiary theme inextricably linked to the identity problematic is that of exile and its radical heritage for all Irish writing irrespective of its different genres.
Sub-Versions offers a cross-cultural and trans-national response to the expanding interest in Irish and postcolonial studies by bringing together specialists from different national cultures and scholarly contexts – Ireland, Britain, France and Central Europe. The order of the essays is by genre.
This study is aimed both at the general literary reader and anyone particularly interested in Irish Studies.
“The emphasis on subversion allows the book to build on postcolonial readings of Irish literature while departing from it in exciting new directions.”
- Jason Cash,
Lehigh University, in
Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, 2014 Vol. 83 1-2, pp. 313-315
Declan Kiberd: Foreword
Ciaran Ross: Introduction
Part One: The Irish Novel: Subversive Fictions of Irishness (History, Self and Language) Terry Phillips: The Wisdom of Experience: Patrick MacGill’s Irishness Reassessed
Christelle Seree-Chaussinand: Irish Man, No Man, Everyman: Subversive Redemption in Sebastian Barry’s
The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty Flore Coulouma: Transgressive and Subversive: Flann O’Brien’s Tales of the In-Between
Marie Mianowski: Down-and-outs, Subways and Suburbs: Sub-Versions in Robert McLiam Wilson’s
Ripley Bogle and Colum McCann’s
This Side of Brightness Sylvie Mikowski: Gender Trouble in Contemporary Irish Fiction
Part Two: “To Punish the Form”: Poetry’s Margins of Subversion Carle Bonafous-Murat: Refutation, Reversal, or Subversion? Forms of Negativity in the Work of W.B. Yeats
Stipe Grgas: Contemporary Irish Poetry at a Tangent
Anne Goarzin: Paul Durcan’s Unsettled Poetry
Florence Schneider: Acutely Discomforting: Subversive Representation in Paul Muldoon’s Poetry
Part Three: Modern Irish Drama: Subversive Scenes of Otherness Ciaran Ross: “On the Black Road Home”: Re-radicalizing Beckett’s Irish Protestant Legacy (A Re-reading of
All That Fall)
Eamonn Jordan: The Native Quarter: The Hyphenated-Real – The Drama of Martin McDonagh
Andrea P. Balogh: Postcolonial Sub-versions of Europe: Brian Friel’s
Fathers and Sons Mária Kurdi: Contesting and Reversing Gender Stereotypes in Three Plays by Contemporary Irish Women Writers