Revolutionary bodies

Homoeroticism and the political imagination in Irish writing

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Michael G. Cronin
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Revolutionary bodies traces a style of homoerotic writing in twentieth-century and contemporary Irish fiction. As this study demonstrates, writers in that tradition explored a broad spectrum of cultural and political concerns, while experimenting with the conventions of literary realism. We witness how, in these various works, the longing for the male body is insistently associated with utopian political desire. Developing a series of innovative readings, the argument proceeds through three author-centred chapters (Brendan Behan; John Broderick; Colm Tóibín) followed by two chapters on Irish gay fiction and ‘Celtic Tiger’ fiction. The latter two chapters focus on work by Keith Ridgway, Jamie O’Neill, Micheál Ó Conghaile and Barry McCrea, among others. Revolutionary Bodies prompts us to reconsider the relationship between aesthetics, literature and sexual liberation.

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