Eoin McNamee’s Local Language

  • Mary M. McGlynn
Part of the New Directions in Irish and Irish American Literature book series (NDIIAL)


So much of what links the authors discussed up to this point—marginalized dialects, peripheral settings, dynamics of the working class, fragmented form—stems from an aesthetic of reaction. This is not to say that its practitioners are reactionary in the conventional sense of the word; rather, their texts enter into conversation with what has come before them, and for the most part, they feel they must reject, reconfigure, and reinterpret. Neither received narrative techniques nor inherited constructions of nation, class, and region are adequate or satisfying, and I have tracked the sorts of innovations made with an eye to their Joycean antecedents in particular as the modernist era was marked by a similar sense of a need for the new. Given the historical and political contexts of modernism and its critical reception, however, its innovations did not penetrate many literary provinces; stories of working-class characters in particular seem to have generated a rigid genre complete with expectations of authentic representation to a presumed middle-class audience. Kelman, Galloway, and Doyle make interventions in literary history to redress its oversights and inadequacies, writing novels that are beautiful, moving, and thought-provoking.


Gang Member Bolic Weight Passive Voice Narrative Technique Narrative Voice 
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© Mary M. McGlynn 2008

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  • Mary M. McGlynn

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