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Feeling neoliberal
Michael G. Cronin

Colm Tóibín's trio of gay-themed novels – The Story of the Night (1996), The Blackwater Lightship (1999) and The Master (2004) – poses two questions. One question concerns literary style and the aesthetics of representation. How should a writer incorporate the distinctive social and psychic experiences of gay men in the twentieth century into the novel form? Or, in an alternative formulation, how might a writer use the conventions of realist fiction to give expression to those modern forms of consciousness – homosexual; queer; gay – that

in Revolutionary bodies
Homoeroticism and the political imagination in Irish writing

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.

Representations of the immigrant in the contemporary Irish short story
Anne Fogarty

whose hostile but charged interactions are founded on their fleetingness.3 With a view to pinpointing the commonalities between narratives that engage with the inequities of a migrant multicultural society as well as their individual aesthetic traits, this essay will briefly analyse six stories published in recent collections by writers who span several generations: Edna O’ Brien’s ‘Shovel Kings’, Colm Tóibín’s ‘The Street’, Mary O’Donnell’s ‘Little Africa’, Colum McCann’s ‘A Basket Full of Wallpaper’, Anne Enright’s ‘Switzerland’, and Éilís Ní Dhuibhne’s ‘The Shelter

in Literary visions of multicultural Ireland
Heidi Hansson

, ‘postnationalism’ would simply mean that which succeeds either nation or nationalism and does not necessarily imply any interrogation of these as previous stages of development. As a political idea, however, postnationalism would primarily be a challenge to nationalism as an ideology. For Ray Ryan the first definition seems to be foremost when he describes Dermot Bolger, Thomas McCarthy and Colm Tóibín as ‘prominent postnationalists’ because ‘each has engaged with the problem of representing post-Independence Ireland when the mythic sources of Irish identity have been drained

in Irish literature since 1990
Irish-American fables of resistance
Eamonn Wall

that they eventually felt confident enough to disregard the Church’s wishes while the hierarchy somehow persuaded itself that sexual abuse of children was neither a serious nor a criminal matter. Though an increasingly maligned and marginalised figure in Ireland, the Irish Catholic priest has received favourable coverage in two recent acclaimed novels by Irish writers: Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn (2009) and Colum McCann’s Let the Great 113   114 114 Going against the tide World Spin (2009). Interestingly enough, the two clerical figures in these novels are

in Tracing the cultural legacy of Irish Catholicism
Queer debates and contemporary connections
Kaye Mitchell

readerships, Pearl notes that ‘coming out stories, narratives that chronicle the emergence of the individual into a gay identity, were crucial’ because they ‘were able to constitute for isolated individuals an imagined gay community’.20 David Leavitt’s The Lost Language of Cranes (1986) has at its centre Philip’s painful coming-out to his parents – for his mother it is ‘as if she had been thrown head-first into a distant, distasteful world about which she had little curiosity and toward which she felt a casual, unstated aversion’.21 Colm Tóibín’s The Story of the Night

in Alan Hollinghurst
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Melvyn Bragg

mistakenly put back into another can among the many thousands … who knows? The can remains obstinately empty. 192  john mcgahern: authority and vision In most ways it is not of such importance. There were other television programmes in which he speaks and speaks well. Before beginning this, I looked again at Colm Tóibín’s interview, which is very good indeed. John’s measured, well-honed and sometimes deeply confessional answers were no doubt helped on their way by Tóibín’s love and understanding of the work which has, I think, influenced his own, most openly in his

in John McGahern
Irish fiction and autobiography since 1990
Liam Harte

the symptom of a history that they cannot entirely possess’ but which possesses them.36 This pathological condition is bound up with a profound crisis of historical truth which asks how we ‘can have access to our own historical experience, to a history that is in its immediacy a crisis to whose truth there is no simple access’.37 Caruth might be describing here the crisis that afflicts the protagonists of so many contemporary Irish novels, from Robert McLiam Wilson’s Ripley Bogle (1989) to Colm Tóibín’s The Heather Blazing (1992) to Roddy Doyle’s A Star Called Henry

in Irish literature since 1990
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Cultural credibility in America's Ireland - and Ireland's America
Tara Stubbs

to visit. The idea of America as a saviour for Ireland has been questioned, however, in some contemporary works. For example, the notion of New York as ‘pure, authentic, and unchanging’ is scrutinised in Colm Toíbín’s 2009 novel Brooklyn, in which the comforting, familiar, but ultimately sterile Brooklyn where the Irish protagonist, Ellis Lacey, finds herself living and working proves to be as stultifying as home.11 The point, for Toíbín, seems to be that for the Irish emigrant, the promise of a ‘new world’ in New York is as nostalgic as the idea that life there

in American literature and Irish culture, 1910–55
Open Access (free)
Representations of Irish political leaders in the ‘Haughey’ plays of Carr, Barry and Breen
Anthony Roche

action, the arrival of Jack into the darkened drawing-room in the middle of the night and his attempted hanging appear to come from a different play. As Colm Tóibín has put it: ‘In scene after scene, the connections between the Silvesters and the Haugheys had been made abundantly clear. Now the script had departed from the story of the Haugheys to tell another story, one of grief and estrangement and the damage fathers cause to their sons.’9 All Jack’s father can manage to do when he is helping to pick his son up from the floor after the failed suicide attempt is to

in Irish literature since 1990