The Northern Irish Novelist in Ronan Bennett's The Catastrophist

The Northern Irish Novelist in Ronan Bennett's The Catastrophist S A R A H B R O U I L L E T T E he Northern Irish novel has often been read as a foil to the region's more politicized, often nationalist, poetries. Foundational figures like Brian Moore, Jennifer Johnston, and Bernard MacLaverty--who published their first novels in the 1960s and 1970s--are thought to have formulated their literary versions of liberal humanism in opposition to any identification with or support for parties to the sectarian conflict at the heart of the Troubles. In their writing, the ideal articulation of the human subject is, in Elmer Kennedy-Andrews's terms, the figure who "avoids extreme political commitment, demonstrating a realistic sense of the dangers of political utopianism, and of how such ideals can lead to violence, anarchy and fascism" (14); in turn, the Troubles are represented as "an irruption of irrational, aberrant atavism which threatens the sacred realm of private feeling and personal relationships" (17). A newer generation of writers is not thought to have departed much from these forebears. Authors like Deirdre Madden, Glenn Patterson, and Robert McLiam Wilson ostensibly apply more postmodern techniques to the same task of denigration of nationalist projects, though they are likely to http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Literature University of Wisconsin Press

The Northern Irish Novelist in Ronan Bennett's The Catastrophist

Contemporary Literature, Volume 48 (2) – Jul 25, 2007

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Publisher
University of Wisconsin Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1548-9949
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

S A R A H B R O U I L L E T T E he Northern Irish novel has often been read as a foil to the region's more politicized, often nationalist, poetries. Foundational figures like Brian Moore, Jennifer Johnston, and Bernard MacLaverty--who published their first novels in the 1960s and 1970s--are thought to have formulated their literary versions of liberal humanism in opposition to any identification with or support for parties to the sectarian conflict at the heart of the Troubles. In their writing, the ideal articulation of the human subject is, in Elmer Kennedy-Andrews's terms, the figure who "avoids extreme political commitment, demonstrating a realistic sense of the dangers of political utopianism, and of how such ideals can lead to violence, anarchy and fascism" (14); in turn, the Troubles are represented as "an irruption of irrational, aberrant atavism which threatens the sacred realm of private feeling and personal relationships" (17). A newer generation of writers is not thought to have departed much from these forebears. Authors like Deirdre Madden, Glenn Patterson, and Robert McLiam Wilson ostensibly apply more postmodern techniques to the same task of denigration of nationalist projects, though they are likely to

Journal

Contemporary LiteratureUniversity of Wisconsin Press

Published: Jul 25, 2007

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