Michael G. Cronin
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Time and politics in Irish gay male fiction
in Revolutionary bodies
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Critical reflections on the evolution of LGBT politics in Ireland, before and after decriminalisation, and the emergence of Irish gay male fiction after 1993. The novels under discussion – by ‘Tom Lennon’, Jarlath Gregory, Denis Kehoe and Jamie O’Neill – belong to two genres, each structured around subjective and historical time: the coming-out romance and the historical romance. These novels give narrative shape to the forms of consciousness underpinning contemporary lesbian and gay politics and give imaginative expression to the dialectic of liberation and reformism inherent to that politics. Their manifest political perspectives are often critical and sometimes socialist in their sympathies. But, beneath these manifest commitments, the form and aesthetic texture – plot; narrative and prose style; tone – generates varied affects. The political imagination of these novels could be radical, disruptive and utopian, or it could be in comfortable alignment with the hegemonic neoliberal conception of the individual and of social relations in ‘boom-time’ Ireland.

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Revolutionary bodies

Homoeroticism and the political imagination in Irish writing


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