Confronting Violence in Contemporary Prose Writing from the North of Ireland
Chapter 4: The Politics of Identity and the Language of Dissensus in Ciaran Carson’s Exchange Place
The Politics of Identity and the Language of Dissensus in Ciaran Carson’s Exchange Place
In an interview with Elmer Kennedy-Andrews, Ciaran Carson has this to say about storytelling: ‘Stories are very important. They may be everything regarding writing. And it seems to me that the moral of every story is to put the reader in another place, to make them consider other possibilities; to imagine what it might be like to be someone else, or see the world through another’s eyes’ (Kennedy-Andrews 2009, 24). Anyone familiar with Carson’s work will immediately notice that what he calls ‘the moral of every story’ is also the central preoccupation of a lot of his prose works. From Fishing for Amber and Shamrock Tea to The Pen Friend and Exchange Place, Carson has consistently returned to the notion of what it is to imagine oneself to be someone else, to see the world through another’s eyes and, in the process, to find out more about oneself. In a sense, from The Star Factory onwards, one might say that Carson has repeatedly explored the politics and complexity of identity, whether his own self, in the first three prose works poised somewhere between fiction and encyclopaedic account, or that of fictive characters, in the two most recently published works which are more easily labelled novels. This emphasis on exploration of the self (often through the other) does not mean that Carson is engaged in a project which celebrates the individual...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.