Uses for ruins : Anne Enright’s The Green Road

Journal article


Ryan, Matthew. (2021). Uses for ruins : Anne Enright’s The Green Road. Textual Practice. 35(1), pp. 23-37. https://doi.org/10.1080/0950236X.2019.1652678
AuthorsRyan, Matthew
Abstract

Since her early work, Anne Enright has manipulated national and gender stereotypes in a knowing and sometimes playful way. This article focusses on the use of the well-worn Irish tropes of the mother and the family home as they appear in The Green Road. In particular, it considers the ways alternative historical and social possibilities are coded into cliché and stereotype. Rather than appearing as a linguistic limitation or an exhaustion of meaning these images and characterisations are pointing to unrealised cultural resources from the past. A recuperation of historical failure is enacted in Enright’s use of these stereotypical forms. David Lloyd’s Irish Times serves as an analytical model. Lloyd sees Irish landscapes and ruins as carriers of past failure but also of futures not yet achieved. Enright draws new meaning from old imagery, refashioning the ideas of the home for a critique of the present. This article reads The Green Road as a post-Celtic Tiger text that, in the evocation of cultural and physical impoverishment, brings a historical legacy to the critique of the recent global economic crisis and to neoliberal forms of value.

KeywordsAnne Enright; The Green Road; neoliberalism; house; home; ruins
Year2021
JournalTextual Practice
Journal citation35 (1), pp. 23-37
PublisherRoutledge
ISSN0950-236X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/0950236X.2019.1652678
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85071623995
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range23-37
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online13 Aug 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted08 May 2019
Deposited26 May 2021
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