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Writing Modern Ireland$
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Catherine E Paul

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780989082693

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780989082693.001.0001

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date: 21 October 2017

“Here, of all places”: Geographies of Sexual and Gender Identity in Keith Ridgway’s The Long Falling

“Here, of all places”: Geographies of Sexual and Gender Identity in Keith Ridgway’s The Long Falling

Chapter:
(p.16) “Here, of all places”: Geographies of Sexual and Gender Identity in Keith Ridgway’s The Long Falling
Source:
Writing Modern Ireland
Author(s):

Ed Madden

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9780989082693.003.0002

This essay examines how issues of space and place intersect with the complicated nature of sexual and gender identity as well as citizenship in Keith Ridgway's 1998 novel The Long Falling. More specifically, it considers how divisions between rural and urban spaces relate to gay spaces, the symbolic power of graves, and the more individualized assertion of political subjectivity. It also discusses the spectral appearance of Grace Quinn, the female protagonist of The Long Falling, at the end of the novel in relation to Jacques Derrida's analysis of spectral figures, along with work by Russ Castronovo and Jarrod Hayes in other national contexts and Eugene O'Brien in Irish studies. It suggests that The Long Falling's conclusion not only portrays the problematic relation of counter-public alliances forged in the public sphere, but also foregrounds the difficult relation—and possible disarticulation—of gay and feminist politics.

Keywords:   rural space, urban space, place, sexual identity, gender identity, Keith Ridgway, The Long Falling, public sphere, gay politics, feminist politics

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