Home and Away

The House in Exilic Narratives

Shane Alcobia-Murphy* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article examines the ways in which two Irish writers use the setting and symbol of the house to depict traumatic rupture and the collapse of a sense of self as a result of loss. In both texts — Enda Walsh’s The Walworth Farce, and Timothy O’Grady and Steve Pyke’s I Could Read the Sky — dissolution of self occurs due to the movement away from the childhood domicile to England. If home can be defined as ‘a sense of belonging or attachment’, then ‘[m]ovement may necessitate or be precipitated by a disruption to a sense of home’. Emigration can result in the formation of an alternative diasporic, transnational community and support network in the absence of immediate familial ties, yet it can also foster a sense of ‘displacement and loneliness’ as well as ‘self‐perceptions of being exiled’. Emigration, whether forced or not, constitutes a form of exile, one which, as Edward Said argues, is experienced as ‘an unhealable rift forced between a human being and a native place, between
the self and its true home’, and which results in a ‘crippling sorrow of estrangement’. That traumatic loss is conveyed in both authors’ use of the house (as setting and symbol).
Original languageEnglish
Article number9
Pages (from-to)137-158
Number of pages22
JournalReview of Irish Studies in Europe
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2 Oct 2019

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Symbol
Emigration
Dissolution
Self-perception
Edward Said
Familial
Writer
Human Being
Estrangement
England
Sorrow
Rupture
Loneliness
Traumatic Loss
Exile
Disruption
Farce
Childhood

Cite this

Home and Away : The House in Exilic Narratives. / Alcobia-Murphy, Shane (Corresponding Author).

In: Review of Irish Studies in Europe , Vol. 3, No. 1, 9, 02.10.2019, p. 137-158.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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