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Cultural Perspectives on Globalisation and Ireland


Edited By Eamon Maher

In the space of a few short decades, Ireland has become one of the most globalised societies in the Western world. The full ramifications of this transformation for traditional Irish communities, religious practice, economic activity, as well as literature and the arts, are as yet unknown. What is known is that Ireland’s largely unthinking embrace of globalisation has at times had negative consequences. Unlike some other European countries, Ireland has eagerly and sometimes recklessly grasped the opportunities for material advancement afforded by the global project.
This collection of essays, largely the fruit of two workshops organised under the auspices of the Humanities Institute of Ireland at University College Dublin and the National Centre for Franco-Irish Studies in the Institute of Technology, Tallaght, explores how globalisation has taken such a firm hold on Irish society and provides a cultural perspective on the phenomenon. The book is divided into two sections. The first examines various manifestations of globalisation in Irish society whereas the second focuses on literary representations of globalisation. The contributors, acknowledged experts in the areas of cultural theory, religion, sociology and literature, offer a panoply of viewpoints of Ireland’s interaction with globalisation.


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4. Negotiating the Self: The Spectral Mobile Subject Eugene O’Brien 67


4. Negotiating the Self: The Spectral Mobile Subject Eugene O’Brien Writing about Jacques Derrida after his death, Simon Critchley made the point that in his view Derrida was a ‘supreme reader of texts’. Critchley went on to describe Derrida’s legacy in terms of his distinctive mode of double reading which initially was attendant to the scholarly context of the piece of writing in question. This involves ‘reading the text in its original language, knowing the corpus of the author as a whole, being acquainted with its original context and its dominant contexts of reception’. Critchley sees this as the first step in the process: it is a laying down of a ‘powerful, primary layer of reading’. The second aspect of this double reading is what is more normally seen as interpretation or hermeneutic reading, where the text is ‘levered open through the location of what Derrida sometimes called blind spots’. Many of his double readings turn around such blind spots in order to explode from within our understanding of a particular author. The key point is that the explosion has to come from within and not been imposed from without. It is an attempt to think ‘the unthought within the thought of a specific philosophical text’.1 This is as valid an account of this mode of French literary theory as I have seen and, in the course of this chapter, I would like to engage in precisely such a double reading of the phenomenon of globalisation as it affects Ireland....

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