This book deals with the process of negotiation with the past in the present through the plays of Marina Carr. The title frames the work, connoting the path towards destruction and the sense of lethargy acquired along the way. The book offers an in-depth and extensive reading of Carr’s plays. In doing so, it surveys some of the destructive issues represented in the works and provides a series of social and cultural contexts to which the concerns in the works are related.
Carr is best known for her trilogy, The Mai, Portia Coughlan and By the Bog of Cats…, and more recently Woman and Scarecrow, The Cordelia Dream and Marble. The plays are regularly concerned with notions of identity in the context of self-destruction, self-estrangement and displacement. This book applies Julia Kristeva’s theory of abjection to Carr’s plays in an effort to structure the loss the author identifies in the works. Themes of memory, history and myth are examined in the context of these concerns in provocative and confrontational ways.