Storytelling, imaginative fiction and the representation of victims of the Irish Troubles: a cultural analysis of Deirdre Madden's ' One by One in the Darkness'

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter

Abstract

Using as a case study Deirdre Madden's novel (1996) about a family struggling to deal with loss as a result of political violence during the Troubles, this article explores the contribution made by imaginative storytelling to the societal process of confict transformation in Northern Ireland. Drawing on the existing literary criticism addressing this novel, it considers the formal strategies deployed to explore personal experiences of victimhood in the context of a family-mediated social history of postwar Northern Ireland, and questions of temporality and conflict within family memory. It goes on to argue for a deeper, cultural reading that situates the novel in creative dialogue with discourses of victimhood and political constructions of memory during the conflict and in the early peace process. In this way the article makes a case for the potential transformative value of fiction in developing imaginative engagement with the stories of the other, and in promoting 'heteropathic identification' - a potential that depends on contexts of reading and the willingness of readers to enter imaginatively into the inner worlds of others.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIreland and victims: confronting the past, forging the future
EditorsLesley Lelourec, Gráinne O'Keeffe-Vigneron
Place of PublicationOxford, UK
PublisherPeter Lang AG
Pages139-158
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9783034307925
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2012

Publication series

NameReimagining Ireland

Bibliographical note

© 2012 Peter Lang AG

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    Dawson, G. (2012). Storytelling, imaginative fiction and the representation of victims of the Irish Troubles: a cultural analysis of Deirdre Madden's ' One by One in the Darkness'. In L. Lelourec, & G. O'Keeffe-Vigneron (Eds.), Ireland and victims: confronting the past, forging the future (pp. 139-158). (Reimagining Ireland). Peter Lang AG. http://www.peterlang.com