Badiou and Irish Fiction from Joyce to Enright
Brivic links the work of writers such as Flann O’Brien, Patrick McCabe,
and Anne Enright to the theories of Alain Badiou.
"An exciting and challenging rereading of contemporary Irish fiction,
and especially of its relation to earlier Irish high modernism."—Enda Duffy, professor of English, University of California, Santa Barbara
"An addition to existing scholarship on the Irish novel, deepening
our knowledge of the form and extending the ways in which it can
be approached."—Derek Hand, author of A History of the Irish Novel
Sheldon Brivic is professor of English at Temple University. He has published widely on modernism
and literary history and is known especially for his work on Joyce. He is the author of
numerous books, including Joyce through Lacan and Žižek: Explorations.
Book Description »[Close »]
In Irish fiction, the most famous example of the embrace of damnation in order
to gain freedom—politically, religiously, and creatively—is Joyce’s Stephen
Dedalus. His "non serviam," though, is not just the profound rebellion of one
frustrated young man, but, as Brivic demonstrates in this sweeping account of
twentieth-century Irish fiction, the emblematic and necessary standpoint for any
artist wishing to envision something truly new.
Because Irish culture was largely dictated by the Catholic Church and its
conservatism, the most ambitious Irish writers, like Joyce, Beckett, and the ten
others Brivic presents here, saw the privileges of damnation and seized them,
rejecting powerful norms of church, state, and culture, as well as of literary
form, voice, and character, to produce some of the most radical work of the
twentieth century. Brivic links the work of writers such as Flann O’Brien, Patrick
McCabe, and Anne Enright to the theories of Alain Badiou. His mathematical
procedure for distinguishing what is truly innovative informs the progressive political
and philosophical thrust that these writers at their best carry on from Joyce
and Beckett to unfold a fierce tradition that extends into the twenty-first century.
View other series books on Irish Studies.
6 x 9, 328 pages, notes, bibliography, index