Martin Keaveney Silent Noise: Narrative and Style in John McGahern’e Ths Dark e Th Dark , a novel of an adolescent country boy, was first identified as a work worthy of textual study by Paul Devine in 1 The n 9a 79. rratological “pairing of characters and events” and the stylistic “sophisticated presentation” isolated by Devine are developed here, with the ultimate finding that absences a - re con structed as presences and vice v Ther e e sa. lements are a present-absent d -ys functional father and an absent-present dead mother evoked within a n absent- present bedroom scene, superficially inanimate but recalibrated critically as a highly animated, dysfunctionalized birth of the adolescent experience amid the boredom, fears, sexual confusion, and spiritual crises such exper - iences of ten entail. e c Th hosen section, a short scene in e Th Dark , is warranted by its overall narratological significance in the context of that novel: that is, the final stage of a bully father’s hegemony over his son, its foreshadowing of the boy’s onward progression/regression, and its overhaul via both narrative and st- yle. This pro cess can be demonstrated by comparison with a similar event in
New Hibernia Review – Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas
Published: Mar 4, 2020
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