New Book from Peter Lang

A Poetics of Dissensus: Confronting Violence in Contemporary Prose Writing from the North of Ireland

By Fiona McCann

Oxford: Peter Lang

228 pp. | ISBN 978-3-0343-0979-0 | £40.00

Twenty years after the peace process began in the North of Ireland, many thorny political issues remain unresolved. One of the most significant questions involves the means by which acts of violence and the ideologies that subtended them can be dealt with, interrogated and questioned without rekindling conflict. This book focuses on a number of fictional and non-fictional texts published during the last two decades and analyses, through the prism of French cultural philosopher Jacques Rancière’s work, the emergence of an aesthetics of dissensus within these novels, short stories, graphic novels and memoirs. Associating close textual analyses with wider contextual readings, the book investigates the overlap of politics, aesthetics and the redistribution of the sensible in recent prose works, revealing how the authors avoid the pitfalls of a facile discourse of peace and reconciliation that whitewashes the past and behind which unaddressed tensions may continue to simmer.

Contents: Between Understatement and Overkill: Anna Burns’ No Bones And Little Constructions – ‘The Post-past City’: Apocalyptic Cityscapes and Cultural Stagnation in the Fiction of Sean O’Reilly – Postcolonial Gothic and Body Politics in Recent Novels by Patrick McCabe – The Politics of Identity and the Language of Dissensus in Ciaran Carson’s Exchange Place – Whodunnit or Who Didn’t Do it? Authority and Poetic (In)Justice in Eoin McNamee’s The Ultras, The Blue Tango and Orchid Blue – Consensus and Dissensus in Fictional Representations of Working Class Protestantism and Loyalism – Aesthetics of Violence in Contemporary Irish Short Fiction – Subverting Authority or Reinforcing Convention? Garth Ennis’s Graphic Novels – Troubling Narratives of the Troubles: Commemoration, Sensationalism and Authority.

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