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Rough BeastsThe Monstrous in Irish Fiction, 1800-2000$
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Jack Fennell

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789620344

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789620344.001.0001

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(p.236) Chapter Ten Conclusions
Rough Beasts

Jack Fennell

Liverpool University Press

This chapter revisits the specific works and incidents mentioned previously, placing them in chronological order and applying the conclusions reached in each thematic analysis. What emerges from this chronological overview is not a straightforward timeline of literary development, but a series of breaks and interruptions marked by the repetition and reinvention of established gothic and horror narratives: this is, after all, what monstrous literature has been refined to do. Unlike science fiction, where shifting emphases and innovation can be mapped onto historical moments and popular ‘moods’ of the time, these texts concern themselves with breakages and ruptures. This reading suggests a political context for the interpretation of these stories, as the monstrous actions of martyrs, bureaucrats and political leaders invite monstrous responses, some of which are artistic and literary. The monster’s history-ending power makes it an appealing figure in contexts where history is a nightmare from which one is trying to awake.

Keywords:   history, monsters, disruption

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