Tim Robinson and Chris Arthur:
in defence of the Irish essay
In what might be one of the most clever delivery systems of the primary argument of the non-fiction genre – that of truth in non-fiction – noted American
non-fictionists Bill Roorbach and Dave Messer created a ‘cartoon essay’ to address
the negotiation of truth and fact, between fact and fallible memory, between
recollected dialogue and the subjective effects of experience. The cartoon narrator finally concludes: ‘Try your best to be both accurate and artistic. Take it as a
relation to drinking and driving, and
the economic downturn. Access to cheap alcohol in shops and off-licences is
another factor but instead we comment on the social benefits of the pub. This
pub is one of the more popular in town and behind the bar are numerous
posters of events and groups. Music is here every night of the week, of all styles
and genres, and it helps to attract customers. Séamus uses catchphrases of the
downturn such as ‘value for money’ and is increasingly selective in his choice
of music to best match his customers’ preferences. However, he, like many
Unfolding Irish landscapes offers a comprehensive and sustained study of the work of cartographer, landscape writer and visual artist Tim Robinson. The visual texts and multi-genre essays included in this book, from leading international scholars in Irish Studies, geography, ecology, environmental humanities, literature and visual culture, explore Robinson’s writing, map-making and art. Robinson’s work continues to garner significant attention not only in Ireland, but also in the United Kingdom, Europe and North America, particularly with the recent celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of his monumental Stones of Aran: pilgrimage. Robert Macfarlane has described Robinson’s work in Ireland as ‘one of the most sustained, intensive and imaginative studies of a landscape that has ever been carried out’. It is difficult to separate Robinson the figure from his work and the places he surveys in Ireland – they are intertextual and interconnected. This volume explores some of these characteristics for both general and expert readers alike. As individual studies, the essays in this collection demonstrate disciplinary expertise. As parts of a cohesive project, they form a collective overview of the imaginative sensibility and artistic dexterity of Robinson’s cultural and geographical achievements in Ireland. By navigating Robinson’s method of ambulation through his prose and visual creations, this book examines topics ranging from the politics of cartography and map-making as visual art forms to the cultural and environmental dimensions of writing about landscapes.
Images of the ‘Jungle’ in Breach by Olumide Popoola and Annie Holmes
writers, Popoola and Holmes, in which they approach the world of contemporary migration through short narratives focusing on life in an unofficial migrant city. Short story sequences or cycles are often seen to address and foreground issues linked with community (Harde, 2007 : 2–3), which is also the case in Breach . As Harde ( 2007 : 4) suggests, the looseness associated with stories that are intertwined but not explicitly connected is in this genre often seen as non-hierarchical owing to their open-endedness. In this sense the form appears as an apt mode for
The invisibility of border-related trauma narratives in the Finnish–Russian borderlands
This chapter addresses the concept of in/visibility in border-related trauma narratives through a discussion of the representation and reception of border crossers’ traumas in literature dealing with Finnish–Russian borderlands in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries by writers including Boris Cederholm, Kirsti Huurre, Arvi Perttu (Finland), Nikolai Jaakkola and Antti Timonen (Karelia, Soviet Union). The chapter reveals how historical and political discourses related to border crossers and their experiences have influenced the discourses on migrants and their traumatic experiences up to the current day. The public reception of these narratives both in Finland and the Soviet Union/Russia has tended to evaluate them according to their truth-value and documentary value, and ignored the affective and emotional aspects of the narratives, i.e., their role as trauma literature. More recent trauma narratives by border-crossers apply elements of fictional genres, such as Russian postmodernism and grotesque, and are increasingly intertextual and layered. Since affects, personal experiences and inner reflections play a central role in these texts, aesthetic strategies play an important role in mediating the trauma of the border. The chapter shows that the marginalised experience of the border trauma gains gradual visibility, and the public perception of the past is gradually transforming.
This book explores contemporary urban experiences connected to practices of sharing and collaboration. Part of a growing discussion on the cultural meaning and the politics of urban commons, it uses examples from Europe and Latin America to support the view that a world of mutual support and urban solidarity is emerging today in, against, and beyond existing societies of inequality. In such a world, people experience the potentialities of emancipation activated by concrete forms of space commoning. By focusing on concrete collective experiences of urban space appropriation and participatory design experiments this book traces differing, but potentially compatible, trajectories through which common space (or space-as-commons) becomes an important factor in social change. In the everydayness of self-organized neighborhoods, in the struggles for justice in occupied public spaces, in the emergence of “territories in resistance,” and in dissident artistic practices of collaborative creation, collective inventiveness produces fragments of an emancipated society.
Border images and narratives: paradoxes, spheres, aesthetics
Answering our three questions about border images and narratives
In our Introduction we framed the work in this book in terms of three questions: First, how does the choice of form, medium, genre and aesthetical strategies help form and potentially transform the borderscape? Second, how do these different forms, discourses and genres cross the borders into the public sphere? Third, what paradoxes can make problematic simple perceptions of making visible and giving voice? We accompanied each of these questions with a series of
-Georges Castex ( 1951 ), Roger Caillois ( 1965 ), Tzvetan Todorov ( 1975  ), Irène Bessière ( 1974 ), Rosalba Campra ( 2008 ), Roger Bozzetto ( 2005 ) and David Roas (2018) , among others, have set out to define the specific boundaries of the fantastic on the basis that not all narrative forms featuring a supernatural element are constructed in the same way.
Todorov, one of the founders of this restricted approach to the fantastic, argued already in 1970 that ‘[w]e cannot conceive a genre which would regroup all works in which the supernatural
highly topical, ranging from France to China, including, but not limited to, the Mediterranean and Calais, and the border between Mexico and the United States. At a more general level, the chapters thus aim to address the following three key questions.
First, how does the choice of form , medium , genre and aesthetical strategies help form and potentially transform the borderscape? Do images negotiate borders, borderlands and border-crossings in a different way from narratives? What differing temporalities, epistemologies and sensual perceptions
offered in more conventional strategies within fine art.
Robinson called his publishing company Folding Landscapes; the name is
important here. While maps have existed since classical antiquity, the idea of
the landscape as a fit subject for artists only really began to emerge in European
art in the sixteenth century as artists produced paintings and drawings of ideal
or realistic scenes from nature in significant numbers. Ernst Gombrich took
the new genre very seriously, claiming that ‘of all the “genres” which the 16th
century specialists began to cultivate in the