Edited By Marisol Morales-Ladrón
Juan F. Elices – Familiar Dysfunctionalities in Contemporary Irish Satirical Literature
← 199 | 200 →JUAN F. ELICES
ABSTRACT: From its very origins, satire has been categorized as one of the most dysfunctional and undefinable literary modes. Some scholars postulate that it is ‘parasitic’ and that it lacks any generic predictability, which turns its conceptualization into an utterly difficult task. It seems, therefore, that approaching the problematic issue of the Irish dysfunctional family from a satiric point of view can foster quite fruitful intersections, as some contemporary Irish novels suitably demonstrate. This chapter will basically seek to dig into the analysis of a series of contemporary Irish narratives that problematize on the family as an institution whose dysfunctionalities can trigger not only depressing and deeply troubled scenarios but also situations that become the object of satire’s most biting views. Among the novels that will be examined in this study, the following should be highlighted: Anne Haverty’s One Day as a Tiger (1998), Mark Macauley’s The House of Slamming Doors (2010) and Julian Quinn’s Mount Merrion (2013).
Looking back on the evolution of literary satire, it is easy to conclude that this has been a rather unpredictable and, very often, dysfunctional literary mode. From its still highly debatable origins to the theoretical difficulties scholars and academics have encountered to articulate a consistent definition, the nature of satire seems to provide a suitable arena for the exploration of the family as a key institution to better understand the Irish idiosyncrasy. It goes without saying that Ireland has fostered some of the...
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