‘Bubbles of joy’ : moments of pleasure in recent Northern Irish culture

Magennis, C 2017, '‘Bubbles of joy’ : moments of pleasure in recent Northern Irish culture' , Études Irlandaises, 42-1 , pp. 155-168.

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Abstract

This essay considers the representation of pleasure in three “post”-conflict Northern Irish texts: Glenn Patterson’s novel The Rest Just Follows (2014), Billy Cowan’s play Still Ill (2014) and Lucy Caldwell’s short story collection Multitudes (2016). A framework is offered that advocates a turning away from the dominance of trauma theory in Northern Irish cultural criticism towards a recognition of the plurality of experiences which these texts represent. This essay uses theoretical insights from Lauren Berlant, Heather Love, Laura Frost and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick to consider the unique affective topography in which Northern Irish writers represent their pleasures. In these texts, published in the last few years, we see the representation of queer and non-reproductive sexual encounters set against the backdrop of the social and political policing of morality in Northern Ireland. This essay, however, will argue that these texts are not simple metonyms but rather present complex sensual experiences which enrich our understanding of the emotional landscape of contemporary Northern Ireland.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Journal or Publication Title: Études Irlandaises
Publisher: Universitaires du Septentrion
ISSN: 0183-973X
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: Dr Caroline Magennis
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2017 13:59
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2017 23:36
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/40989

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