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Immeasurable Distance

Discourse, Bodies, and Power
  • Jennifer M. Jeffers

Abstract

“Immeasurable distance” refers to ones ability to “measure” the distance between, say, point A and point B. If however A and B cannot be clearly distinguished, demarcated, or identified, then there is no way to measure the distance between the one point and the other. The novels discussed in this chapter have a unique ability to slip off the page, to impair our ability to construct clear lines of thought. The novels in this chapter slip off the scale of representation, and so we must attempt to follow Deleuze’s prescription to “grasp movement only as the displacement of a moving body or the development of a form. Movements, becomings, in other words, pure relations of speed and slowness, pure affects, are below and above the threshold of perception.” Less concretely placed in a material and representational world, the novels discussed in this chapter are about words—and the power of words to destroy and to produce bodies. Moreover, the ability to give meaning to the past and to fix one’s identity in the present involves processes of interpretation; these processes of interpretation, however, dictate power, position, and the ability to live a meaningful life. Politically speaking, this form of power may be the most potent; what we know—discourses on the world—is our world and our ability to be and become.

Keywords

Meaningful Life Magic Realism Abortion Mess Blatant Inconsistency Northern Capital 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 2.
    See Liam Harte, “History Lessons: Postcolonialism and Seamus Deane’s Reading in the Dark,” Irish University Review, vol. 30, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2000), pp. 149–162.Google Scholar
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    See Seamus Deane, Reading in the Dark (Knopf, 1997), p. 29. All subsequent quotations will be cited in the text.Google Scholar
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    See Anne Fogarty, “Uncanny Families: Neo-Gothic Motifs and the Theme of Social Change in Contemporary Irish Women’s Fiction,” Irish University Review, vol. 30, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2000), pp. 59–81.Google Scholar
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    See Mary Morrissy, Mother of Pearl (Scribner, 1995), p. 160. All subsequent quotations will be cited in the text.Google Scholar
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    See Brian Donnelly, “Roddy Doyle From Barrytown to the GPO,” Irish University Review, vol. 30, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2000), pp. 17–31.Google Scholar
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    See Roddy Doyle, A Star Called Henry (Jonathan Cape, 1999), p. 1. All subsequent quotations will be cited in the text.Google Scholar
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    See Loreto Todd, Green English: Ireland’s Influence on the English Language (O’Brien, 1999), p. 62.Google Scholar
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    See Robert McLiam Wilson, Ripley Bogle (Vintage, 1998), p. 38. All subsequent quotations will be cited in the text.Google Scholar
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    See Laura Pelaschiar, “Transforming Belfast: The Evolving Role of the City in Northern Irish Fiction,” Irish University Review, vol. 30, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2000), pp. 117–131.Google Scholar
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    See Robert McLiam Wilson, Eureka Street (Minerva 1997), p. 396.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Jennifer M. Jeffers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer M. Jeffers

There are no affiliations available

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