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Black bile in Bohane: Kevin Barry and melancholia

Long, Maebh (2017) Black bile in Bohane: Kevin Barry and melancholia. Textual Practice, 31 (1). pp. 81-98. ISSN 0950-236X

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Kevin Barry’s novel, City of Bohane, presents the west coast of Ireland gripped in the hyper-violence of a dystopian urban future. This article argues that the novel’s power structures, seemingly redolent of unrepentant brutality, epitomise an excessive melancholy; a failure of mourning that causes the city and its inhabitants to stagnate in aggressive, nostalgic desire. Relations to the past, to the self, the desired other and power in City of Bohane are inextricable from discourses of melancholic loss, lack, identification, gender, violence and the fetish, and by reading Barry’s work through Freud’s, Agamben’s, Žižek’s and Butler’s theorisations of the melancholy, we explore the tensions between desire, loss and black bile.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Language, Arts and Media
Depositing User: Maebh Long
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2017 04:35
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2017 04:35

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