Reflections on an Academic Journey

I established the aim of this blog in September before I really knew where it would take me. I declared that I would “strive to chart my increasing understanding of Irish literature and film and that I would also include artists and other such figures as an attempt to illustrate the sweeping effects of literature in other forums and how they interrelate”. Looking at the blog today, what is evident is my own consistent interest in Irish short fiction and gothic literature. My academic interests are broad and varied beyond those particular focal points. I will treat my blog entries thematically in order to illustrate how my academic journey has taken a number of different routes, and how I feel I have benefitted from taking each of them.

My first entry offered a reading of a newly released Irish film, A Nightingale Falling. It was presented more as a summary but did include a fleeting engagement with Frank O’Connor’s story ‘Guests of the Nation’:

May’s psychological unravelling is particularly effective. She goes from a headstrong, commanding and daring woman, to one blinded by envy, desperation and bitterness. The naïve and almost insipid younger sister Tilly provides a stark contrast to her sibling and they create a remarkable dynamic which is both intriguing and credible.  Their conflict revolves around Captain Shearing (Gerard McCarthy) who they idolise while under their care, highlighting the torment of unrequited love. Elements of Frank O’Connor’s story ‘Guests of the Nation’ are to be found in how the sisters take an injured British soldier into their home and nurse him back to health. The political war thus becomes pooled with the domestic war as desire; secrecy and desperation threaten to perturb any sense of their previous familial harmony.

I progressed to a more personal engagement in my second entry, which detailed an excursion to Bowen’s Court.  My mother’s homeplace is a few short miles from this location, and my grandmother met the lady herself, so from a young age I was always keen to learn more about this site. Besides that layer of interest, I am also an avid Bowen reader:

Bowen’s work is intensely cinematic. She is wonderfully adept at creating the tension and suspense of a thriller, with the lush depth of a romance. Her dealings with madness and psychological unravelling are not to be ignored as gothic elements are peppered throughout all her work. She hauntingly uncovers the murky, unexamined horror of what goes on behind closed doors. Her short fiction is especially eerie, with stories such as ‘The Cat Jumps’ and ‘The Demon Lover’ bearing heavily on the psyche of all who read them…Bowen had a great fear that the house would burn down (a trope in her fiction) but its tragic fate was no less devastating. The house which once embodied so many memories for Bowen (and transferred to us as her readers) is now obsolete and nothing remains except a gate and a field. However, the land will always bear the weight of its important inheritance and I find it difficult to envision what could ever take its place.

Events I attended in Cork were also documented, including a reading by Rachel Trezise and Kristiina Ehin at the Cork International Short Story Festival and readings by Kevin Barry and Colin Barrett at UCC. The earlier entries were descriptive rather than analytical but I consciously attempted to rectify this in later entries.

Kevin Barry on the 16th of October was both entertaining and thought provoking:

In the introduction prior to Barry’s reading, we heard of how he is someone who is both an observer and a listener, and whose frame of reference is passionately Irish. This is all reflected in his work which both astutely and comically posits Irish society in unusual and interesting terms…The sobering topics of hysteria and madness threaten to depress the evening but Barry once again punctures that with comic and eloquent prose.

When I attended the reading by Barrett on the 16th of January, I endeavoured to go beyond the reportage style of prose which characterised my earlier entries by offering a brief comparison between the two.

UCC also saw Kevin Barry make an appearance last term. It is unavoidable to draw parallels between the two as both of their fictional worlds seem to be preoccupied by young men, small towns and transgressions. Crudeness and honesty are combined in both which makes for entertaining reading but which is not devoid of an insistent analysis of the modern psyche.

Seminar reports were another aspect of the blog which I found tested my ability to question academic work and to formulate my own position in relation to it. One such case was Dr. Mary O’Connell’s paper titled ‘The natural antipathy of author and bookseller: Byron and John Murray.’ My blog entry provided a summary and engagement with Dr O’Connell’s seminar as well as leading into a discussion of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels and the complex issue of authorship which arose due to publication complications.

The novel itself highlights the complex issue of its own authorship. Swift pretends that Gulliver is the author of his travels and Gulliver repeatedly defends the authenticity of his travels as a factual account. This is emphasised in a letter from the publisher to the reader: “[t]here is an Air of Truth apparent through the whole; and indeed the Author was so distinguished for his Veracity, that it became a Sort of Proverb among his Neighbours as Redriff, that when any one affirmed a Thing, to say, it was as True as if Mr Gulliver had spoke it.” This emphasis on authenticity pervades both the fictional history and the real history of this novel and justifies the apprehension authors have when dealing with publishers at this time. Byron came to write out of this literary history and his dealings with John Murray show the changing relationship between author and publisher in the matter of a few decades.

Dr Christina Morin’s talk on ‘The Geography of Gothic Atrocity: Place and Space in Irish Gothic Fiction c.1770-1820’ compelled my interest and prompted the following analysis:

Of course, in such a large study which seeks to reappraise a long established canon, there are critics who endorse and those who criticise such an endeavour. Margaret Kelleher acknowledges that “the Gothic mode with its distinctive anxieties is a significant form in 19th C Irish writing,” saying that the “coherence and extent of such a tradition may be overstated” (Spooner, Routledge 89). Fred Botting argues that the Gothic ‘mode’ is something which “exceeds genre and categories” and is “restricted neither to a literary school nor to a historical period” (ibid, 87). In opposition to these views, is the surprising scepticism of W.J. McCormack in The Field Day Anthology where he declares his research has led him to the conclusion that “The Irish tradition of Gothic fiction turns out, on examination to be a slender one” (833). Ultimately, Morin’s study will be informative as to the neglected writers of the Irish Gothic novel, and will provide a wider definition of the term ‘Gothic’ in terms of the geography it is typically associated with. However, such a study could only be a small part of a wider consideration given its singular focus on the Irish Gothic novel. Therefore, there is a need for a similar approach to be taken to poetry, periodicals, and all such productions which are necessary for a conclusive redefinition of such a long-established view of the genre.

I also made a video detailing the content of my blog and planned posts:

While not a seminar report, a talk by Professor Patrick Crotty at UCC on the editorial process of The Penguin Book of Irish Poetry elicited this response:

Heaney’s Preface declares it “the most comprehensive and confident anthology of Irish poetry yet,” which attests to the success of the collection but inevitably, there were ‘eyebrows raised’, as Crotty acknowledges at various choices. He laments ‘the casualties along the way’ but obviously, in such an endeavour, everyone has their personal take on the matter and it is my opinion Crotty managed well to pander to most tastes as well as maintain his independent interests while reflecting a history of writing that is extraordinarily complex, highly varied and diverse.

Now, with more of my MA completed, I feel better informed to challenge his editorial decisions (while simultaneously respecting the reasons for his choices) and if I were to review this entry, I would offer more analysis of those excluded from the collection.

The theme of my blog (which, as it emerged, is the Irish gothic) was not a conscious focal point but with hindsight seems inevitable given my interest in psychoanalysis and psychopathology, the playground for which is very much the Irish Gothic. I approached this subject matter in several entries as already evidenced, but a different angle is given here, from a photographer’s lens:

Tarquin Blake read at UCC on the 12/11/14 at 7pm in West Wing 9. Ominous music echoed throughout the corridors as I approached the chamber. That, combined with my clicking heels sufficiently set my mood before approaching what I knew would be an insightful and interesting talk by one of my favourite photographers. Blake has published a series of books detailing Ireland’s abandoned mansions and supposedly haunted ruins; combining literature, history, architecture and photography. His presentation began with a recitation of ‘The Listeners’ by Walter de La Mere (an English writer of psychological horror and the supernatural) and a consideration of the relationship we have with space. In this respect, the presence of absence is what is most interesting to viewers of Blake’s photographs, offering poignant reminders of what once was, and how it can linger. This ‘lingering’ translates in the imagination as horror. At the borderland between the real and the unreal, our imagination often uses this liminal state to create ghosts, demons and vampires.

Within this analysis, I drew from several texts covered within the course; Edmund Burke’s A Philosophical Enquiry into the Sublime and Beautiful, W.B. Yeats’ Purgatory and Elizabeth Bowen’s A Last September. These allusions were brief and not explored in the depth I would like, but I am encouraged that there is still somewhere for my research to grow and continue.

Irish short fiction is one of my main areas of interest. I was concerned to include a (very brief) overarching narrative of the history of Irish short fiction as informed by Heather Ingman’s A History of Irish Short Fiction and Frank O’Connor’s The Lonely Voice. It was at this point in the blog that I made clear my intention to focus on Maeve Brennan for my thesis, and also my ardent (at times excessive) avocation for the increased inclusion of female Irish writers in the canon of Irish literature.

In The Lonely Voice, O’Connor associates the short story with voices excluded from the ruling narrative of the nation. This, when applied to Irish women, is particularly fitting. However, as Ingman points out, the stories of Somerville and Ross, Mary Lavin and Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, for example, resist his theory of ‘the lonely voice’ by writing out of and to a community. Ingman also points to how O’Connor had difficulty fitting Mary Lavin into his framework for the Irish short story, he himself admitting, “the point of view is perhaps too exclusively feminine.” The canon of the Irish Short story has (thankfully) been looked at again in a way that allows for the admission of short stories by Irish women, but it has still neglected to include writers such as Maeve Brennan sufficiently. I will write more about Brennan as this blog progresses but I’d like to establish now that I view her as having written an equivalent to Joyce’s Dubliners from the female perspective.

The engagement with Maeve Brennan in my blog has thus far been restricted to two articles related to the Textualities Conference held by MA students in March. I have been brief in my allusion to her as I have been stockpiling my research on her for the thesis but I hope to continue this blog throughout my thesis and document my engagement with her work. I find the process of writing entries both stimulates my motivation for research, provides feedback, and challenges my ability to write both concisely and academically.

I was keen to conduct some interviews in order to include a different register in my blog. One of the interviews I conducted was particularly pertinent to my studies in that Tim Robinson’s Stones of Aran came up in the course of my conversation with Land Artist, Gerry Barry:

Robinson produced a fascinating and special map of the Burren which was, as Barry puts it, simultaneously “a history, a geography and storytelling”. The microscopic attention to detail in Robinson’s documentary style books Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage and Stones of Aran: Labyrinth bear certain similarities with Barry’s land art. Both attempt to realise nature in a form which inspires wonder. Both inspire an awareness of the world and also allow us to interpret the elements in a new manner.

Also included in my blog, is an interview with poet Elaine Cosgrove in which I wrote the following:

Given my own focus on Gender and Sexuality within my Masters, I was keen to find out what Elaine thought about being a ‘female’ writer; admittedly, I approached the topic with caution: “It’s frustrating to look back at the history of Irish writing and the lack of recognition. I can gladly say I’ve never been described as a female writer, there is definitely a stronger recognition of female writers now, but sexism is still regular. I was in a bookshop in Kinsale, and saw a window display of Irish writers, not one of which was a woman. It’s not that they didn’t exist, they’re just written out”.

Within recent weeks of course, this ‘wrong’ has been ‘righted’ with the publication of an all-female alternative by the Irish Times. Three other interviews were included in my blog, one with film producer Tim Meaney, filmmaker Seán Creagh and visual artist Ruth Denham. The purpose of including these interviews within my blog was to further my own knowledge of the actual physical processes involved behind the creation of art, and not merely the academic learning I conduct through reading. These were insightful exercises for me and deepened my understanding of the strong relationship between artists and their influences and as well as my familiarity with contemporary writers and filmmakers.

I also included a number of readings of texts as informed by my studies. One such entry was of Paul Durcan’s ‘The Beckett of the Gate’ as interpreted using Walter Benjamin’s notion of the flâneur.

The claustrophobic nature of the city is visualised in how the narrator has to scrunch up his legs in the theatre seat even though the theatre is largely empty. He takes a night walk which becomes nightmarish as the urban and suburban landscapes appear oppressive under the cover of darkness. Durcan is very alert to the changes and rhythms of the city which he mimics with his language.

A novel studied as part of our Gender and Sexuality module, Colm Tóibín’s The Master prompted a number of responses from me, not all of them positive:

Besides the treatment of James’ complex sexuality, Tóibín mirrors much of Henry James’ own literary techniques as I will examine by a comparison with James’ The Turn of the Screw (1898). The supernatural elements of James’ stories, their ambiguity and overall narrative structure are all subtly employed by Tóibín in The Master.  Admittedly, I struggled to accept such an attempt given my prejudice that any author who attempts to write like another will most likely fail. In spite of my doubts, it is undeniable that the aspects of James’ novella which I admire most; slippages, gaps, turnings of meaning, and voids, all characterise The Master in a similar manner.  However, they are arguably not employed to the same extent or effect. These techniques create a deep sense of uncertainty and ambiguity. James uses the blanks in his novella to deliberately avoid creating a coherent pattern and this serves to place the reader outside of understanding the events occurring. Beginnings and endings are systematically blanked out and many chapters suddenly break off at points of crisis. We also see this in The Master when the events following crises are reported subsequently or indirectly. This creates the impression that characters (such as the governess in Turn of the Screw) are not simply recalling the events but are instead remembering remembering those events. This calls the reliability of the first-person narrator into question. For instance, if we were to take the governess as a reliable interpreter of events, we would gain one version of the story, but through viewing her as an unreliable, neurotic fabricator of non-existent ‘ghosts of the mind’ we are then reading a diametrically opposed narrative.

The most recent entry on my blog details the exhibition featured in UCC library from February 4th to March 31st 2015. The title ‘Guy Debord – Diagrams of Revolution’ immediately stirred my interest having studied Debord’s theories during my undergraduate. I was particularly interested to use the offspring of his ideas and those of situationist thinkers; psychogeography, in an analysis of Ciaran Carson’s poem ‘Smithfield Market’.

This poem details the city as a map of the city. The market is a locus of memory and the poem offers connections between the past and the present, showing how they exist simultaneously. Important to consider in this regard, is how the space of the city is produced by layers of history. It is not just one city, but multiple cities. Carson cycles to find his old home, but it no longer exists. His memory has overlaid it and embedded it within the fabric of the place, making it impossible to disentangle the two, therefore forming a spectral city or a dream city. This is a détournement, the integration of the past and present into a superior construction of a space based on the traces of things that have happened.

The long lines of the poem, the punctuation and enjambment lead to an overarching impression of fragmentation which verbally creates a labyrinth. The image of the labyrinth is a trope in the works of Carson, symbolising how something which appears at aerial view as organised and coherent, is at a ‘lived’ level, disorienting and disordered. There are interruptions in the forms of colons, breaks of line and abrupt changes from descriptive passages to metaphorical. The market, destroyed in the conflict, is characterised by “shadowed aisles and inlets”, “cul-de-sacs” and “alcoves”. The fact that there are “no entrances and no exits”, posits this as a claustrophobic, insular space. Psychogeography is about unities of ambiance, linking psychological states to particular areas. With this in mind, the psychological states translated in the poem, are confusion, tension, frustration and fear; epitomising the tone of the city in the wake of conflict.

The blog far-exceeded my expectations by receiving over two thousand views and feedback from scholars from multiple universities around the world including Cape Town University and the University of Ulster as well as being re-blogged on a number of websites. I was particularly engaged in scholarship on Irish gothic writing and my interest has only increased as a result of this blog. I had expected I would include much feminist analysis and readings of works by female writers, but that has largely been left to the domain of my thesis which will focus on Maeve Brennan’s Irish short fiction. Ultimately, I found the enforced commitment to continuous writing the most rewarding component of this exercise; I can see the benefits in my own writing and in my increased awareness of Irish literature, film and academic discourse.

Bibliography for all entries available here

Image Source:

– Surviving Study. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2015. <http://capsunm.tumblr.com/post/64216442898/surviving-the-academic-journey>.

MA Thesis: Literature Review

Photograph taken by Karl Blissinger

Maeve Brennan – Photograph taken by Karl Blissinger

My thesis will focus on ideologies of marriage as represented in Maeve Brennan’s stories of the Derdon and Bagot families in her collection The Springs of Affection (Counterpoint, 1998). My argument is that Rose and Hubert Derdon and Martin and Delia Bagot often seem to be the same couple, speaking the same words and utterances and enacting a similar relationship. The central focal point will be sociohistorical ideologies of marriage and how they affected Brennan’s writing about marital relationships. There has already been an analysis of siblings, exile, and Irish domestic servants in her Brennan’s New York stories, as well as of the autobiographical elements, yet the marriages in her Irish stories have not yet been thoroughly examined.  My thesis will constitute an enquiry into the extent to which a ‘marriage plot’ exists in her fiction, and will aim to reveal the complexities that exist in her often sardonic and melancholy portraits of marital relationships. James M. Cahalan’s Double Visions: Women and Men in Modern and Contemporary Irish Fiction (Syracuse UP, 1999) will be used to elaborate on the marriage plot and its alternatives.

The introduction to my thesis will detail the autobiographical elements as they relate to the marriages in her fiction. I will draw on Angela Bourke’s Maeve Brennan: Homesick at the New Yorker (Random House, 2004) as my main source for her life and indeed much of my thesis as it remains the only book written about her. There has also been a documentary made about Brennan which I will draw on for further information about her life and works, titled Maeve Brennan: A Traveller in Exile by Araby Productions in 2005. Following her upbringing in Ranelagh, Dublin, Brennan moved to Washington and was therefore exposed to an entirely different set of ideological values. Using the reference point of Ireland and the Americas. Culture, Politics and History edited by James Patrick Byrne, Philip Coleman and Jason King (ABC-CLIO, 2008) I will examine the effects on Brennan’s view of marriage as portrayed in the Derdon and Bagot stories which were written in New York in her later years.

The first chapter will place Brennan’s short stories into their sociohistorical context using texts such as Anne McClintock’s ‘Family Feuds: Gender, Nationalism and the Family’ (Feminist Review, 1993), Doreen Massey’s Space Place and Gender (Minnesota UP, 1994), Kate Millet’s Sexual Politics (Ballantine, 1970) and Chrystel Hug’s and Jo Campling’sThe Politics of Sexual Morality in Ireland (St. Martins, 1999). These are largely interdisciplinary texts in order to inform my thesis sociologically, historically and through a feminist theoretical lens. They will colour my understanding of the contextual framework within which these stories operate. Other texts I will draw upon to detail this further include Ellen McWilliams’ Women and Exile in Contemporary Irish Fiction (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), Gerardine Meaney’s Gender, Ireland, and Cultural Change. Race, Sex, and Nation (Routledge, 2010) and the Irish Women’s Studies Reader edited by Ailbhe Smyth (Attic Press, 1993) looking particularly at Frances Gardiner’s chapter ‘Political Interest and Participation of Irish Women 1922-1992: The Unfinished Revolution’ in order to illustrate the widespread disappointment with the failed national ideal and the re-domestication of women following the revolutionary period. I will also incorporate an understanding of Linda Connolly’s The Irish Women’s Movement. From Revolution to Devolution (The Lilliput Press, 2002) to further this aspect of my argument. Caitríona Beaumont’s essay ‘Gender, Citizenship and the State in Ireland, 1922-1990’ from Scott Brewster’s Ireland in Proximity: History, Gender, Space (Routledge, 199) will also be beneficial in this regard.

Crucially to my thesis, her stories frequently convey the repressive nature of Irish society. Treating it chronologically, I will explore Éamon de Valera’s endorsement of gender roles in 1937 and Brennan’s disillusionment with the nationalist ideal. In order to contextualise the role of Catholicism in the Derdon’s and Bagots’ marriages I will reflect on Tom Inglis’ Moral Monopoly: The Rise and Fall of the Catholic Church in Modern Ireland (UCD Press, 1998).

As regards the short story form, I will consult Heather Ingman’s A History of the Irish Short Story (Cambridge UP, 2009) to illustrate how the form lends itself to these snapshots of unhappy domestic life which infer so much about marital relationships more generally.

Chapters Two and Three will consist of a close analysis of the Derdon and Bagot short fiction, featured in order of their appearance in the collection. The Derdon related fiction consists of, ‘A Young Girl Can Spoil Her Chances’ (1962), ‘A Free Choice’ (1964), ‘The Poor Men and Women’ (1952), ‘An Attack of Hunger’ (1962), ‘Family Walls’ (1973) and ‘The Drowned Man’ (1963). As for the Bagot stories, I will examine, ‘The Twelfth Wedding Anniversary’ (1966), ‘The Carpet with the Big Pink Roses on it’ (1964), ‘The Shadow of Kindness’ (1965), ‘The Sofa’ (1968), ‘The Eldest Child’ (1968), ‘Stories of Africa’ (1968), ‘Christmas Eve’ (1972), ‘The Springs of Affection’ (1972). My analysis of these stories will be interwoven with the sociohistorical context and Brennan’s own life, as informed by the texts detailed above.

Affect theory is also something I’m interested to explore within my reading of these texts. I will use Sara Ahmed’s understanding of the concept in her work The Promise of Happiness (Duke UP, 2010). She combines philosophy and feminism in her argument that people often undertake what is deemed ‘good’ in order to meet expectations, presuming that it leads to happiness. This can be applied to Brennan’s characters who marry under the weight of societal expectation, often to their own detriment as is the case in the stories I am examining. Sianne Ngai’s Ugly Feelings (Harvard UP, 2007) will also be employed in a consideration of how negative emotions such as anger and irritation (frequently exhibited by the Derdons and Bagots) are non-cathartic states of feeling which prevail in claustrophobic, stifled situations such as an unhappy marriage.

In conclusion, my thesis will be heavily focused on comparing the Derdon’s and Bagots’ marriages, relying chiefly on textual evidence. Brennan’s own life will be consulted as offering insight into these marriages, but not informing them entirely. It is the system of marriage and gender roles within them that I am interested in.

Guy Debord exhibition in UCC and Psychogeography in Ciaran Carson’s Poetry.

           Guy Debord, 1953

UCC library currently features on exhibition on Guy Debord, “a visionary and artist who saw the future, the future where we now live – a world of mass media and the narcissistic menace of a global obsession with the image.” The title of the exhibition, ‘Diagrams of Revolution’ greets the visitor upon entry, with Debord’s dates nearby, 1931-1994. He is declared a “cultural, political critic, radical theoretician, filmmaker and provocateur”.

Debord’s main work was to counter what he saw as “the deadening hand of consumerism”. In order to do this, he saw the need for play, for urban wanderings, experimental life–styles, détournement and getting lost within the space of the city. A number of theories spring up from this, detailed below.

Debord’s concepts:

  • Détournement will abandon old ideas and re-appropriate them.
  • The dérive goes where it will, responding to psychological states.
  • The Society of the Spectacle is a critique of contemporary consumer culture and commodity fetishism. It was a revolt against what he saw as “the creeping mediatisation of society” which he believed crushed individual creativity.
  • Psychogeography redraws urban, capitalist, planned environments according to individual or collective actions and sentiments, in opposition to the official layout and plans thereof (definition from exhibition).

Guide Psychogeographique de Paris: Discours sur les passions de l’amour. Debord.

Some of the major works referred to in the exhibition:

  • Guide psychogéographique de Paris, discours sur les passions de l’amour (1920).
  • Manifeste pour une construction de situations (1953).
  • Psychogeography ‘The Naked City’ (1957).

John Wylie’s article titled “Landscape, Absence and the Geographies of love” explores the idea of the trace which signals the presence of absence which underlies Debord’s concepts. Within this, he argues that landscape can contain things we don’t see as in, the memory of place “all the traces of presence of those now absent…show, synchronously, the absence of presence and the presence of absence”. Psychogeography is a practice born out of Debord’s ideas and those of situationists.

Among the information available at the exhibition, I found the fact that he admired Swift and Joyce particularly interesting and presents scope for further research (potentially another blog entry!)

Image from Cork French Film Festival.

For the second half of this blog post, I’d like to examine concepts of psychogeography in Ciaran Carson’s poem ‘Smithfield Market’. In the clip below, Carson talks about Smithfield Market as he knew it, before launching into a reading of his poem:

This poem details the city as a map of the city. The market is a locus of memory and the poem offers connections between the past and the present, showing how they exist simultaneously. Important to consider in this regard, is how the space of the city is produced by layers of history. It is not just one city, but multiple cities. Carson cycles to find his old home, but it no longer exists. His memory has overlaid it and embedded it within the fabric of the place, making it impossible to disentangle the two, therefore forming a spectral city or a dream city. This is a détournement, the integration of the past and present into a superior construction of a space based on the traces of things that have happened.

The long lines of the poem, the punctuation and enjambement lead to an overarching impression of fragmentation which verbally creates a labyrinth. The image of the labyrinth is a trope in the works of Carson, symbolising how something which appears at aerial view as organised and coherent, is at a ‘lived’ level, disorienting and disordered. There are interruptions in the forms of colons, breaks of line and abrupt changes from descriptive passages to metaphorical. The market, destroyed in the conflict, is characterised by “shadowed aisles and inlets”, “cul-de-sacs” and “alcoves”. The fact that there are “no entrances and no exits”, posits this as a claustrophobic, insular space. Psychogeography is about unities of ambiance, linking psychological states to particular areas. With this in mind, the psychological states translated in the poem, are confusion, tension, frustration and fear; epitomising the tone of the city in the wake of conflict.

Carson becomes lost in the city he once knew, enacting the motions of Debord’s dérive. He is mapping the city on the basis of his memories and psychological states, following the path of least resistance – drifting, the very definition of dérive. Related to this is the concept of the Flâneur, or urban explorer, detailed in my blog post on Paul Durcan.

To find out more about Débord click here or to read about the exhibition: here. It is running until March 31st 2015.

A dérive app has been created to ‘get you lost’ in a city, and to share your experiences with others.

Also, there is in fact a community of Cork psychogeographers who record their thoughts and feelings about areas of the city if anyone is so inclined!

Works Cited

– “Department of French.” Guy Debord Exhibition. Web. 19 Mar. 2015. <http://www.ucc.ie/en/french/guydebordexhibition/>.

– Guy Debord. Digital image. Web. <http://www.aliartun.com/conimages/guy_debord.jpg>.

– Wylie, John. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. Vol. 34: Blackwell, Ser. 3. Online Library. May 2009. Web. <http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1475-5661.2009.00351.x/abstract>.

Tarquin Blake and the Irish Gothic

Tarquin Blake read at UCC on the 12/11/14 at 7pm in West Wing 9. Ominous music echoed throughout the corridors as I approached the chamber. That, combined with my clicking heels sufficiently set my mood before approaching what I knew would be an insightful and interesting talk by one of my favourite photographers. Blake has published a series of books detailing Ireland’s abandoned mansions and supposedly haunted ruins; combining literature, history, architecture and photography. His presentation began with a recitation of ‘The Listeners’ by Walter de La Mere (an English writer of psychological horror and the supernatural) and a consideration of the relationship we have with space. In this respect, the presence of absence is what is most interesting to viewers of Blake’s photographs, offering poignant reminders of what once was, and how it can linger. This ‘lingering’ translates in the imagination as horror. At the borderland between the real and the unreal, our imagination often uses this liminal state to create ghosts, demons and vampires.

‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,
   Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
   Of the forest’s ferny floor:
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
   Above the Traveller’s head:
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
   ‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
   No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
   Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners
   That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
   To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
   That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
   By the lonely Traveller’s call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
   Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
   ’Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
   Louder, and lifted his head:—
‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,
   That I kept my word,’ he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
   Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
   From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
   And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
   When the plunging hoofs were gone.

Tarquin went through his favourite images, detailing the horror stories going along with them. The images selected very much explain the Irish preoccupation with the gothic which existed in Ireland far longer than it did anywhere else. Cork sites featured include Belvelly Castle, Cork District Lunatic Asylum, Castle Lyons, the Hag of Beara and Sing Sing Prison.

In the light of my studies of the Irish Gothic within my Masters programme, I was keen to see how the supernatural manifests itself just as poignantly in contemporary art forms as it did in the gothic tales by the likes of Sheridan Le Fanu and Charles Maturin.

View along asylum interconnecting corridor ('Haunted Ireland', 78)

View along asylum interconnecting corridor (‘Haunted Ireland’, 78)

Edmund Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry into the Sublime and Beautiful purported that “[t]he passion caused by the great and sublime in nature, when those causes operate most powerfully, is Astonishment; and astonishment is that state of the soul, in which all its motions are suspended, with some degree of horror…No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear” (57). Just as Burke’s enquiry informs our reading of Le Fanu and Maturin it also provides insight into how we can interpret Blake’s photographs. Using census records, newspaper archives, manuscripts and libraries, Blake uses history and folklore to source sites for his photographs and frequently reports uncanny experiences while undertaking his work.

The Hag (of Beara) flying on her broomstick (from 'Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft' by Sir Walter Scott, 1930).

The Hag (of Beara) flying on her broomstick (from ‘Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft’ by Sir Walter Scott, 1930).

Whether you’re a cynic or not, it’s undoubtedly interesting to explore why legends, fairy tales and ghost stories pervade in the Irish imagination. The Routledge Companion to Gothic goes someway to answering this question, claiming that “the intellectual pleasure offered by the topic” (84) as well as “the desire to disclose political phobias supposedly secreted within troubled texts” affords those interested in the gothic with a wealth of texts in which to indulge in their curiosity. Historically, estrangement issues, and the intersection with Freudian theories of repression can be read into many texts such as Elizabeth Bowen’s The Last September and arguably W.B. Yeats’ Purgatory. Much more could be said about this but I’m more interested to explore the ‘lived’ experience of the supernatural which Blake’s book attempts to survey and capture photographically. Themes of eerie apparitions, curiously dead phone batteries and camera batteries, the marvellous, the strange and unexplainable occurrences pepper Haunted Ireland making it a fitting forum for discussion as to the extent to which the gothic horror has pervaded Irish society and the Irish psyche.

Blake was not short of material for his book, “Ireland: politically oppressed, underdeveloped in the far west and southwest, disrupted and distressed by famines, clearances, uprisings, and the depredations of the rural secret societies, devoutly Catholic in its majority population, and full of romantic scenery and prehistoric, not to say feudal, ruins, 19th C Ireland was an impressive candidate for Gothic treatment. The country was in fact sometimes seen as a sort of living Gothic, or agonised Gothic romance that had turned real” (Moynahan, 111). With this in mind, Blake’s Haunted Ireland is clearly a much needed and rich repository of visual images to correspond with the wealth of historical and literary ghost stories which live in the Irish landscape. A curious power of the Irish gothic has been its staying power, as evidenced in this recent and popular collection which panders to the supernaturally inclined and those interested in architecture alike.

Blake’s website provides more for this interested: here

Works Cited:

– All photographs courtesy of Tarquin Blake.

– Barry, Aoife. “Many Irish ‘ghost Stories’ Are Untrue… except These Ones.”The Journal.ie. N.p., 27 Oct. 2014. Web. 17 Mar. 2015. <http://www.thejournal.ie/tarquin-blake-haunted-ireland-2-1738973-Oct2014/>.

– Blake, Tarquin. Haunted Ireland. Cork: Collins, 2014. Print.

– Burke, Edmund. A Philosophical Enquiry into the Sublime and Beautiful. London: Routledge Classics, 2008. Print.

– De La Mare, Walter. “The Listeners.” Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, Web. 17 Mar. 2015. <http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/177007>.

– Moynahan, Julian. Anglo-Irish: The Literary Imagination in a Hyphenated Culture. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1995. Print.

– Spooner, Catherine, and Emma McEvoy. The Routledge Companion to Gothic. London: Routledge, 2007. Print.

Interview with Cork City filmmaker, Seán Creagh

Seán Creagh

Seán Creagh

Seán Creagh is a locally based filmmaker who studied theatre from a young age with filmmaking on the side. He later studied drama and theatre in UCC as well as studying English. His desire to work in film stemmed from his realisation that “I guess I’m a storyteller; from the very youngest age I was telling stories. It’s what I love to do so anything that allows me to do that is where I want to be. I write as well and I direct theatre from time to time. I recently wrote short comic books for a competition however filmmaking is my main thing. For me, the visual medium and being able to tell a story with everything all together offers the fullest version of a story.” While studying, Creagh was entering short films into festivals. He also directed a production of Hamlet in the Cork Arts Theatre.

The next step for Creagh came when he realised an education in the arts doesn’t always transpire into money in the bank. Upon graduating, he “very quickly and intently” went looking for what he could do to find himself a job. He qualified as an English teacher and worked as that for quite a while. “After that, I came back here to teach in Cork English College and I stayed with them for three years. That took me up until the point in which my interest in films took over. In my last two years teaching, I was continuously working on a short film called Fallen Angel. We premiered it last April in the Imperial Hotel and about 200 people attended which was great. I never went to film school so I consider it the project on which I really learned film.”

“I took two weeks off to film Fallen Angel in May 2012. I kept working in the English college until the Christmas before last and that April I started my own company, ‘Ambition Films’. It was a completely different ball game to amateur film making. I got into two Cork film festivals with Fallen Angel. The concept of the fallen angel is an allegory for homelessness. We made the angel wings which ended up being four and a half metres. Despite all the special effects, it’s about the game of life and the human condition.  Fallen Angel was a very unique project and it was inspired by a lot of fantasy things and even computer games.”

An internship with producer Declan Casey took Creagh’s career in a new direction. Casey, who runs Standpoint Media, “took the time to show me cameras and before that I don’t think I’d appreciated the value of the camera, before that I was just shooting stories. He really opened it up and taught me a lot.”

Other influences include “David Fincher for his craft and visual style; Baz Luhrmann for the way he can tell a story from start to finish in a musical sense, like the story of an opera. They both have a great sense of rhythm in their films which draws you in.”

Some of Creagh’s other projects include a book trailer. “There’s a fabulous group in Cork, called Cork Comic Creators led by Alan Corbett and Colin O’Mahony. They have produced a comic called the Cork Horror Comic and they’re producing a second one now called the Cork Sci-Fi Comic. They are anthologies of works by Cork writers and I was lucky enough to have been accepted twice and I was absolutely delighted. They’re a great group and they really support talent. They’re very much about getting things out there and they respect people’s time.  I really wanted to give something back to them because they were getting me published as a writer. I went to them and said I want to get a book trailer out there so I’d like to do one for you. A lot of work went into it on special effects and short deadlines etc. but I’m very proud of it.”

 A career in film is obviously full of highs and lows, one such moment occurred “[y]ears ago, when I was just starting out, I was filming a show that I directed, Shadow of the Glen, it is one of my favourite productions that I ever directed; stellar cast. It was only fifteen minutes long and on for just three nights: I thought I’d pressed the record button but I hadn’t so I lost all the footage! Thankfully I learned from that mistake and it’s never happened again.”

Among his favourite moments, Creagh counts “[t]he closing night of Hamlet after the curtain went down, I was just backstage, looking at the set, looking at what had happened and I just appreciated it as a great moment.Another time was at the screening of Fallen Angel. I was behind a little screen and I was the one pressing ‘play’. I couldn’t see the film but I could see the audience so I was watching their reactions and that was pretty cool. Anytime the work is shown in front of someone that makes it worth it. One of my proudest early productions was a film called Ashes in a young person’s festival. It starts with the bong of a cathedral bell and I made it very loud on purpose to startle people and someone behind me screamed which I thought was great! I’m not as sadistic as Quentin Tarantino but I do like a reaction!”

Creagh is largely self-taught but he did get accepted to IADT (Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art and Technology). “Instead I chose UCC. In hindsight, if I had accepted it, it would have speeded up the process or else I could have gotten really caught up in art films and not been able to do anything afterwards. Was it difficult self-teaching? Yes. Do I regret it? No. I learned the things that are relevant and that’s an advantage.”

When asked what advice he could offer to those looking to work in this area, Creagh was eager to stress that “[i]t’s going to be tough. It can feel like hammering against a brick wall. You either have to get better tools and keep hammering, or else you have to give up on the wall!” He also emphasises that it is important to “[f]ind out whether it’s something you want to do as a hobby (five hours a week realistically) or full-time. There is a completely different amount of dedication required. Most artists aren’t business people so basically you have to teach yourself art as a business; simple concepts like time is money and knowing whether something is worth investing in or not. What’s really heartbreaking is, if you don’t treat it as such, you may have to let go of what you want to do. I was told every story is about characters. For a long time I didn’t understand that concept. It seems like a basic one but I really had to challenge that concept until I reached the point where I couldn’t knock it down anymore and then I started to see the benefits of it when I started directing. It’s important to see the organic characters in actors and to listen to people’s natural dialogue.”

Contact Seán at:

Info.ambitionfilms@gmail.com

Have a look at his work:

http://www.corkweddingvideos.com/

http://www.ambitionfilmsireland.com/

Reflection on Textualities Conference 2015

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The mini-conference held by MA English students of UCC went (almost) without a hitch on the 27th of February 2015. After rising early to make a brief appearance on the airwaves of UCC’s radio to publicise the event along with Margaux and Elaine (Listen here: https://www.mixcloud.com/hanleyelaine/textualities15/), it was time to take to the council room. Nervous excitement was palpable. I was looking forward to sharing my presentation on Maeve Brennan with an audience of like-minded scholars and to receive feedback. The question my presentation posed was whether it is still accurate to consider her a ‘forgotten’ writer. After conversations with several fellow scholars, I have come to the conclusion that she was both not as widely known as she deserves, and also that those who do know her are only aware of her tragic personal life or (mistakenly) view her work as dull and hackneyed. I hoped to set up the aim of my thesis (an in-depth exploration of her marriage-related short fiction) by presenting the accounts that are well known about Maeve Brennan, and to consider whether it is accurate to view her only in terms of her beauty, tragedy or madness.

The initial fear about giving a presentation in Pecha-kucha style (20 slides, 20 seconds each) was evidently ill-founded as it emerged as a fluid and manageable means of presenting.

I was kept busy taking photographs throughout the conference which I thoroughly enjoyed. I had been concerned that it would take from my ability to focus on my colleague’s speeches but thankfully, it was not much of a distraction. Seán’s presentation on David Lynch’s Twin Peaks kick-started a new addiction for me and I also headed out to buy Myles na gCopaleen’s An Béal Bocht after Sam’s engaging discussion of the novel.

Acting as chairperson for Margaux, Rachel and Donal was also a great addition to my experience as it gave me the opportunity to become better acquainted with Harry Potter, James Joyce and Thomas Hardy, as well as the speakers presenting on them.

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Donal, Rachel, Margaux, Jane

My own group, chaired by Elaine, also offered much support in the run up to the conference and I was very interested in their presentations; especially given that they were in an area very far outside of my own. Ciarán spoke about Fight Club and Peter about Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age.

Ciarán, Jane, Peter, Elaine

Ciarán, Jane, Peter, Elaine

Links to the MA English student’s blogs can be found at the top of my homepage or at the link below:

https://farrelljane.wordpress.com/ma-blogs/

Link to the website and live blog:

http://111432612.wix.com/ucctextualities15

Link to my presentation:

https://prezi.com/csax4m3tmsjn/maeve-brennan/

Thank you to all who did so much hard work, it was a very memorable experience!

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In Preparation for Textualities

10393704_372434952961210_3959127644972343360_nAs the date for the MA conference to be held in UCC looms just around the corner, this entry will present some of the topics I hope to discuss as part of my 6 minute, 40 second PechaKucha style presentation (20 presentation slides timed to 20 seconds each).

Each student of an MA in English programme at UCC will present on a topic related to their thesis in front of an audience of lecturers, peers, and other interested parties. My thesis aspires to deal with Maeve Brennan’s short fiction through the theoretical lenses of feminism and psychoanalysis. I hope to focus on ideologies of marriage as represented in her stories of the Derdon and Bagot families. However, my presentation will deviate from her fiction and instead examine the various accounts of Brennan as simultaneously an exile, ‘forgotten’, ‘insane’ and as a ‘female writer’.

Brennan’s work suffered neglect in her lifetime and it is in fact only in relatively recent years that there has been a resurgence of interest in her work.Her cousin, Roddy Doyle praised her collection, ‘The Springs of Affection’ as a parallel to Joyce’s Dubliners and believed her collection to be “in its way, perfect.”

With an ardently passionate number of fans (including Nobel prize winner Alice Munro) why is it that it took so long for her stories to receive critical attention? I will explore this question in my presentation, detailing accounts of her ‘madness,’ her various idiosyncrasies, and illustrate the circumstances of her life which led to her being publicly represented as a beautiful, but insane intellectual.

Details of the event:

Location: UCC Council Room, North Wing, University College Cork

Date: Friday 27th of February 2015.

Time: 10.00 – 15.30

All welcome!

You can find more information about the conference at the links below:

Email: textualities2015@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/textualities15

Twitter: @textualities15 https://twitter.com/textualities15

Website/Live Blog: http://111432612.wix.com/ucctextualities15

A Storify will be available after the event.

A reading of Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Doer of Good’

Oscar WildeOscar Wilde’s ‘The Doer of Good’ (a copy of which can be found here: http://www.online-literature.com/wilde/2315/) offers a satirical enlightening of what Declan Kiberd calls a “manic urge to antithesis” (Kiberd, ‘Exiles’ 373), pervasive in Victorian thinking and shunned by Oscar Wilde. The poem reveals the gross over-simplification of perceiving things by their absolute difference. He ultimately shows the hollowness of such notions (Kiberd, ‘Exiles’ 374). Wilde’s abandonment of characteristics typically assigned to those who received salvation from Christ in the bible (the blind man, the leper etc.) illustrates that identity cannot be understood by positioning it in relation to an opposite. Wilde is “a master of paradox” (Kiberd, ‘Artist’ 34) and he persists in discrediting any binary notions in the poem.

‘The Doer of Good’ provides many examples which illuminate this further, one of which is the fact that the parables alluded to in the poem, are shared by both Catholics and Protestants. This serves to illustrate how “Wilde is interested in the moment of modernism when the ancient antithesis dissolves to reveal an underlying unity” (Kiberd, ‘Exiles’ 374). The fact that this is the case indicates the strong moral message Wilde seems to be seeking to impart, which is that even when great things are given to us, human nature is difficult to overcome. While this may not be obvious from the outset, it certainly becomes so by the end of the poem, most expressly witnessed in the line “But I was dead once and you raised me from the dead. What else should I do but weep?” (Wilde, 37/38). This man had been restored to life, and yet is not living as Christ would have desired. The point to be emphasised here is that identity cannot be prescribed and any attempt to do so is futile.

doer_of_good As Kiberd alleges, “Wilde’s is an art of inversion, where each side exemplifies qualities that we would normally expect in its opposite, as every dichotomy dichotomises” (Kiberd, ‘Exiles’ 373). The divisions we see in this poem, are that of right versus wrong, however; as mentioned above, Catholic and Protestant are interestingly shared, blurring any antithesis and instead creating a unity and abandoning the notion of good versus evil so pervasive in Irish literature. Wilde questions the assumption that one thing is one way, and that therefore the ‘other’ must be its opposite (Kiberd, ‘Artist’ 35). A staunch believer that “a truth in art is that whose opposite is also true”, Wilde is therefore imbuing every ‘good’ man with the ‘bad’ and inverting the notion that identity is informed by difference. The startling truth presented to the reader is that human nature and instinct override greater notions of how to live as predicated by others. Wilde is being both satirical and revealing, enlightening readers as to the obsession with forming identity based on difference. He transcends all such polar opposites by pointing out the absurdity of viewing the world in such a way.

 

Works Cited:

– Deane. Derry: Field Day, 1991. 373-6. Print.

– The Doer of Good’ Digital image. Thomas Birdmosher.net. Web. 14 Feb. 2015. http://www.thomasbirdmosher.net/bindings/bindings/3/doer_of_good.jpg

– Kiberd Declan. ‘The London Exiles: Wilde and Shaw’. The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing. Vol. II. Ed. Seamus
—. ‘Oscar Wilde – The Artist as Irishman’. Inventing Ireland. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1995. 33-50. Print.
Wilde, Oscar. The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde. London: HarperCollins, 2003. Print.

Colm Tóibín’s ‘The Master’ – Ambiguity and Sexuality

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Colm Tóibín’s The Master has been awarded a litany of honours including; being shortlisted for the 2004 Booker Prize, receiving the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Lambda Literary Award, the Los Angeles Times Novel of the Year Award and, in France, Le prix du meilleur livre étranger in 2005. The novel has eleven chapters which are labelled from January 1895 to October 1899. These mark significant dates within the life of Henry James. The resulting effect of the novel is that it imparts an image of the author as a bachelor with unresolved sexuality. Tóibín details how James was appalled by the Oscar Wilde case while he simultaneously repressed his own self and his own sexuality. This suppression comes to define James and is ultimately the most effective aspect of the novel in that Tóibín manages to successfully portray the spectrum of sexuality that exists which complicates an easy categorisation of James as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or indeed asexual. A case could be made for each of those categories but Tóibín allows us access to James’s intricate interior monologue (the result of extensive research) and makes no grand claims to have managed to pigeonhole the author which his inherent complexity automatically resists.

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Henry James

 Besides the treatment of James’ complex sexuality, Tóibín mirrors much of James’  own literary techniques as I will examine by a comparison with James’ The Turn of the  Screw (1898). The supernatural elements of James’ stories, their ambiguity and  overall narrative structure are all subtly employed by Tóibín in The Master.  Admittedly, I struggled to accept such an attempt given my prejudice that any author  who attempts to write like another will most likely fail. In spite of my doubts, it is  undeniable that the aspects of James’ novella which I admire most; slippages, gaps,  turnings of meaning, and voids, all characterise The Master in a similar manner.  However, they are arguably not employed to the same extent or effect. These  techniques create a deep sense of uncertainty and ambiguity. James uses the blanks in  his novella to deliberately avoid creating a coherent pattern and this serves to place the  reader outside of understanding the events occurring. Beginnings and endings are  systematically blanked out and many chapters suddenly break off at points of crisis. We see this in The Master also when the events following crises are reported subsequently or indirectly. This creates the impression that characters (such as the governess in Turn of the Screw) are not simply recalling the events but are instead remembering remembering those events. This calls the reliability of the first-person narrator into question. For instance, if we were to take the governess as a reliable interpreter of events, we would gain one version of the story, but through viewing her as an unreliable, neurotic fabricator of non-existent ‘ghosts of the mind’ we are then reading a diametrically opposed narrative.

 Trying to answer the unanswerable question of whether or not there are really ghosts at Bly is how James draws the reader into dealing personally with the text. The introductory chapter creates the expectation that we will be hearing a real ghost story about the appearance of supernatural beings to two children. The narrative which follows this however refuses to satisfy the reader given that the fallibility of the governess calls into question the entire story being told. Douglas’ description of the governess also raises questions as to whether he is as capricious as she is. He tells us that ’she was a most charming person’ and that ‘she was the most agreeable woman [he] had ever known in her position.’ Given that the subsequent narrative does not correspond with this appraisal of her, seeds of doubt are embedded, intensifying the ambiguous nature of the novel.

The absence of a final framing device leaves meaning entirely open. We are left uncertain as to whether the Governess suffocated Miles out of fear, does a ghost control her, or is it an intentional act. The sense of psychological fear embeds the conclusion with the point James makes about how the mind can play tricks when it does not fully understand or cannot fully process events. There is just enough information to set the mind racing, but not enough detail to fully make sense of things.

James intentionally leaves the reader feeling unsatisfied at the end of the novel. This forms a sense of unease and discomfort. I would argue that Tóibín does something similar by; on the one hand, giving us what can be seen as a straightforward story of an author’s life, while on the other, the novel can be seen as a deliberate attempt to force the audience to read between the lines and question what it is the story is about. James wrote that the writing and reading of fiction was an ethical project, that the effort really to see and really to represent is no idle business in face of the constant force that makes for muddlement. This can certainly be applied to The Master.

 

Works Cited:

– Henry James. Digital image. The New Yorker. N.p., 18 Sept. 2014. Web. 8 Feb. 2015. http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/henry-james-great-ya-debate

– Mars-Jones, Adam. “Review of ‘The Master'” The Guardian. N.p., 22 Feb. 2014. Web. 8 Feb. 2015. http://www.theguardian.com/books/2004/feb/22/fiction.colmtoibin

– “The Master (novel).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 08 Feb. 2015. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Master_%28novel%29

– Tóibín, Colm. The Master. London: Picador, 2004. Print.