• A Mortal Agency: Flann O'Brien's At Swim-Two-Birds

    Author(s):
    Todd Comer (see profile)
    Date:
    2017
    Group(s):
    Irish Literature and Culture
    Subject(s):
    Irish literature
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Flann O'Brien, Irish Literature, postmodernism
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M63P80
    Abstract:
    In addition to showing how politically oriented Flann O’Brien’s At Swim-Two-Birds remains despite its playful exterior, this essay constitutes an extended reflection on issues of power and agency within the postcolonial Irish context. It demonstrates that Irish identity is constructed and controlled via a god-like architecture of temporal and discursive surveillance. Second, it argues for an agency that does not simply place the subaltern in a new tower, but for one that displaces the panoptical structure. Such a displacement is grounded in a mortal agency, an agency that does not recreate god-like Cartesian subjects, but emphasizes proximity and relation to one another. O’Brien’s text — full as it is of strange and disparate odds and ends — becomes the ultimate exemplar of this relation.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    6 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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