How Irish lesbian writing has developed over the centuries


Why do we still write books about Irish lesbians in the 21st century? Since the second wave of feminism in the 1960s, the decriminalization of homosexual acts in Northern Ireland in 1982 and in the Republic in 1993, the establishment of civil partnership in 2011, which was then replaced by same-sex marriage in 2015, has been the. is there much left to write? It turns out there are plenty.

Irish lesbian fiction and politics have undergone a magnificent transformation, especially over the past 30 years. And although the spotlight is primarily on gay sexuality, women have played a significant role in improving the visibility of lesbians in the public arena. Irish lesbian writing through time is a reflection of these efforts of Irish writers and a testament to the fact that lesbian existence has permeated the pages of Irish writing for over two centuries – while gay men can have their Oscar Wilde , this is of the utmost importance. emphasize that lesbians are not afraid of their literary representatives either.

References to lesbian desire can be found in the prose of Irish women as early as the early 19th century, this presence only growing stronger over time. To the extent that there is a growing interest in lesbian literatures, with new research projects appearing more and more frequently, it struck me that there was not a single corpus entirely dedicated to lesbian fiction. Irish, where lesbian sexuality played a central role. At the same time, I also noticed that many existing studies treated lesbians as mere research subjects or approached fiction from the perspective of lesbian (in) visibility in national discourse.

Today, with the influence and impact of interdisciplinary studies, literature cannot be seen as a mere fictional creation, nor should it be studies from a strictly analytical point of view. For we need to remember the people, writers, feminist and lesbian activists, whose own lived experiences have prompted them or other writers to share with us their perspectives and views on the world – if we were only relying on on historical and theoretical knowledge, we could never really discover the fascinating and manifold works of art that make up literature.

Therefore, the main argument of my book is that the evolution of the literary and metaphorical lesbian character is to a large extent concordant with the development of an actual lesbian identity, whether said transformation occurs within a work or ‘it extends over a few novels / short stories / plays.

The stages of transformation that I propose in my monograph are a reconceptualization of a developmental model of Vivienne Cass, “Homosexual Identity Formation”, supported by in-depth textual and historical analyzes of the texts, where I do not focus solely on the development of Irish. the lesbian narrative per se, but also verifying how the presence of lesbian desire is determined by historical antecedents and the state of (lesbian) politics in a given period of time. I pay particular attention to symbolism, textual techniques and experimentation, in order to observe certain distinctive patterns indicative of each step. I also propose a new framework, as promised in the title, in which each text can be contextualized theoretically.

The chapters of the book, consecutively, are established to chronologically represent this transition. Beginning with the investigation of 18th-century romantic friendships between women, I take a close look at the historical antecedents that preceded the emergence of lesbian desire in early 19th-century New Woman literature, and later examine to what extent the female performativity of female masculinity in The Fin-de-Siècle Writings of Sarah Grand, George Egerton, Katherine Cecil Thurston and Rosa Mulholland can be read as nuanced references to female-female passion.

This is followed by an investigation of the narrative emphasis on the lesbian continuum in the works of Elizabeth Bowen, Molly Keane and Kate O’Brien, and illustrates Bowen’s teenage lesbian characters “framing” narratives centered on heterosexuality, which is mainly achieved with a variety of narrative narratives. techniques to demonstrate the development of lesbian narrative in the early 20th century.

While the analysis focuses on post-war fiction, Irish Lesbian Writing Across Time reveals the notion of lesbian existence in prose written by Elizabeth Bowen, Kate O’Brien and Edna O’Brien, and explains how postmodernism helped Irish writers write texts in which lesbian love takes center stage. With the advance of lesbian politics at the end of the 20th century, writers began to centralize lesbian characters and desire explicitly, which is mostly seen in the novels and short stories of pioneer women such as Emma Donoghue and Mary Dorcey.

Emigration is a big part of Irish history. Undoubtedly then, diaspora writing deserves a place in the study of Irish literature. Thus, the penultimate chapter of the book focuses on the Irish lesbian writings of the diaspora of England, Canada and Trinidad and Tobago, respectively written by Anna Livia, Emma Donoghue and Shani Mootoo, demonstrating that with The influences of globalism and transnationalism, the development of Irish lesbian fiction in the diaspora represents another dimension of lesbian writing and lesbian politics.

Likewise, despite the predominance of Republic texts, my work would not be a faithful reflection of Irish writing without an inclusion of the Northern narrative, and it certainly would not be inclusive lesbian if it did not encompass identities. trans. The final chapter, therefore, delves into the prose and drama of the Northern Six Counties by Hilary McCollum, Jaki McCarrick, Stacey Gregg and Shannon Yee, reflecting the development of the narrative and examining a multiplicity of factors that contributed to expressions openings of lesbian desire in popular culture.

I believe that my work can help future scholars, as well as readers, to consider Irish lesbian writing from three angles. First, Irish lesbian fiction is presented as an ever-changing, ever-changing process. Although the final stage of the development process is almost complete, I believe the uncertainties of belonging and expressions of sexualities created by modern politics could add to a proliferation of works from a range of styles. and disciplines, creating a whole new canon of lesbian writers.

Second, the Irish Lesbian Writing Across Time offers an alternative route to systematization, as it offers a possibility of thinking about time periods separated from the point of view of developmental stages. This allows for understanding lesbian fiction in terms of not only time periods, but also allows for an examination of the distinct lesbian-specific stages signified by these periods.

Most importantly, the use of a development model invites a similar analysis of lesbian texts from other countries, as this would undoubtedly give an overview of the evolution of lesbian fiction across the world and encourage to the emergence of a comparative body of radical lesbian studies.
Irish Lesbian Writing Across Time: A New Framework for Rethinking Love Between Women by Anna Charczun is published by Peter Lang


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