e-book Post-Agreement Northern Irish Literature: Lost in a Liminal Space?

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Geoff Dyer, 49— London: Penguin, Accessed January 19, Gamble, Miriam. Graham, Colin. Colin Graham and Richard Kirkland, 7— Basingstoke: Macmillan Press Ltd, Wanda Balzano et al. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, Hadaway, Pauline. Contemporary Photographs of Belfast — , ed. Pauline Hadaway, 7—9. Belfast: Belfast Exposed Photography, Heidemann, Birte. Hughes, Eamonn. Eamonn Hughes, 1— Milton Keynes: Open University Press, Jenkinson, Rosemary.

Contemporary Problems Nos. Belfast: Lagan Press, Belfast: Whittrick Press, Accessed June 24, Jewesbury, Daniel. Pauline Hadaway, 38— Accessed January 24, Kelly, Liam.

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The only real thing today is between Fergus and Rachel. Within the compressed space of a six-and-a-half-page story, Beckett is able to examine the ricocheting effects of a transgenerational legacy of social violence and division. The compact framework of the short story makes it an apposite form in which to analyse the small space of the Northern household, itself a metonym for the Northern Irish statelet. It also symbolises the successive generations of people in Northern Ireland who, Beckett perceives, will never reach the point of cultural openness or becoming.

Beckett thereby signals the possibility for social change via the younger generations in her story. The protagonist is a young, unnamed Protestant woman who emigrates from Belfast with her husband, Matt, in an attempt to start a completely new life. She recounts:.

He wanted us to stay put. This was not entirely true. It was also cruel. Nevertheless, he is still lured by the glossy trappings of bourgeois life in the London metropole; thus he is not entirely immune to the corporate branding and selling of a city. It still smells of our old flat in Belfast. This can be fixed with washing. I slip it on a hanger and hold it up to the window so the last, frail fingers of sunlight go prickling through the fabric. In this moment it is more beautiful than a sweater should be. One-handed, I carry it across the bedroom and slide the wardrobe door open.

My grandmother is in the wardrobe, sitting on a deckchair. I think she is reading the Belfast Telegraph.

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It is hard to tell in the dark. I am very surprised to find my grandmother in our wardrobe. I had been expecting emptiness, maybe some coat hangers left by the previous occupants.

Liminal Spaces - Sarah Sawin Thomas - TEDxLincoln

I am particularly surprised because my grandmother is dead. The men in her life do not expect her to have her own opinions or sense of identity and purpose. Her spectre is an immaterial, absent presence which nonetheless can be felt — much like a memory.

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As the narrator muses:. She will be just as I remember her, even the wet click of her dentures slipping in and out when she laughs. I will curl myself around her gnarly ankles and use her slippers for a pillow, angling my cheek against the fluffy parts. I will make an anchor of my grandmother and hold on. In the morning she may be gone or we may drink tea together and say it does not taste the same without a teapot. Either way, I will be splitting in two.

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She is part of the post-Agreement generation from Belfast, a place which has become defamiliarised and which has therefore lost its bearings. Her father and Matt pull her in different directions, each dictating where and how she should live her life. However, her choice to remember and to hold onto her matrilineal inheritance signals an act of resistance and offers a glimmer of hope. However, the transversal structure of this collection criss-crosses the boundaries of gender, genre, geopolitics, sectarianism and temporality.

The scope of its treatment of the North ranges from the realm of ancient Irish myth through partition, the Troubles, and up to the post-Agreement, post-Brexit referendum present. Dr Dawn Miranda Sherratt-Bado is an academic specialising in Irish and Caribbean Studies, with particular interests in literature and visual culture.

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Blog Twitter Facebook Issue , September The narrator explains: My father had been hurt young by the border; the line ran on the top of their ditch. The tale is focalised through the perspective of an adolescent Catholic girl, who makes her way home after deliberately avoiding the royal procession: Knots of women gossiped to prolong sensation in the littered street.


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