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‘Kicking Bishop Brennan Up the Arse’

Negotiating Texts and Contexts in Contemporary Irish Studies


Eugene O'Brien

This collection of essays reconsiders aspects of Irish studies through the medium of literary and cultural theory. The author looks at the negotiations between texts and their contexts and then analyses how the writer both reflects and transforms aspects of his or her cultural milieu. The essays examine literary texts by W. B. Yeats, Seamus Heaney, James Joyce and Sean Ó’Faoláin; media texts such as Father Ted, American Beauty and a series of Guinness advertisements; as well as cultural and political contexts such as globalisation, religion, the Provisional IRA and media treatment of murders in Ireland. The author also looks at aspects of the postcolonial and feminist paradigms and makes use of a theoretical matrix based on the work of Jacques Derrida and Jacques Lacan.


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Chapter Nine Global Warnings: Towards a Deconstruction of the Global and the Local 153


Chapter Nine Global Warnings: Towards a Deconstruction of the Global and the Local What is globalisation? Is it merely the description of the logical conclu- sion of the capitalist project of selling products to a mass market? Is it a type of Lacanian symbolic order for the third millennium? Is it the con- ditions of global production? Is it the spread of global brands? Indeed, on a recent visit to Scandinavia, I found myself the subject of this aspect of globalisation as the first text message I received on my mobile phone was from Vodafone, assuring me that I could top up my credit locally and wishing me a pleasant visit to Sweden. Hence, in terms of this aspect of globalisation, is it relevant that this chapter was typed on a United States based Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop computer which was devised in Round Rock, Texas, assembled in Limerick and purchased through Dell’s premises in Bray? My dealings with the series editor and with Peter Lang Ltd with respect to this publication were mostly conducted on a Nokia N95 mobile phone, which was made in Finland, and by email. Is this globalisation in action? If so, are we for it, against it, enraptured by it, enthralled by it or indifferent to it? I suppose the place to start is with an overview of exactly what ‘it’ is? The literature on the subject is in general agreement. Jan Aart Scholte has argued that at least five broad definitions of ‘globalisation’ can...

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