Stephen Carleton1
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  • 1 University of Queensland
Contemporary Irish Gothic Drama
The Return of the Hibernian Repressed During the Rise and Fall of the Celtic Tiger
in Gothic Studies
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Whilst debate rages in certain circles as to what constitutes an Irish Gothic tradition and whether imposing canonical status upon it is even possible or desirable, very little of this discussion focuses on twenty-first century writing, and certainly not upon writing for the stage. The aims of this essay are twofold: to argue the case for a contemporary Irish Gothic theatre school (whose primary proponents I will identify as Martin McDonagh, Conor McPherson, Marina Carr and Mark ORowe); and to place this contemporary school in conversation with the Irish Gothic literary corpus identified by the scholarship of Terry Eagleton, Seamus Deane, W. J. McCormack, Jarlath Killeen, Christopher Morash, Richard Haslam, Sinéad Mooney and David Punter. The resulting intention here is to open up a fresh way of reading and comparing contemporary Irish playwrights,that allows us to place their work into sharper focus when it comes to comparing them to each other as pre-eminent Irish writers of the millennial period.

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