Ancient warriors, modernsexualities
Easter 1916 and the advent of post-Catholic Ireland
in Haunted historiographies
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Analysis of two novels that seek to re-establish ‘forgotten’ elements of Irish history: Roddy Doyle’s A Star Called Henry (1999) and Jamie O’Neill’s At Swim, Two Boys (2001). Both novels excavate feminist and queer narratives that have been hidden behind the façade of Ireland’s conservative national narrative by establishing the prominence of such narratives during the 1916 Easter Rising. Reading both novels through the lens of spectrality—a narrative mode that conflates temporalities, events, and peoples—and in the context of Ireland’s waning conservatism at the end of the Twentieth Century offers a clearer notion of how both texts reconsider the founding mythology of Irish culture. At Swim, Two Boys places gay lovers and ideals of homosexuality at the absolute core of the Easter Rising, thereby implying the revolutionary notion that the Irish Republic was in fact founded upon the principles of queer politics. A Star Called henry, while certainly invested in acknowledging class divisions in early twentieth-century Dublin, also seeks to recover feminism as a logical extension, or corollary, to nationalism.

Haunted historiographies

The rhetoric of ideology in postcolonial Irish fiction

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