J. M. Synge and the Aesthetics of Intelligent Sympathy

Patrick R. Mullen

in The Poor Bugger’s Tool

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199746699
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950270 | DOI:
J. M. Synge and the Aesthetics of Intelligent Sympathy

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This chapter argues that Synge deploys a queer aesthetic in his representation of the Irish peasantry. Furthermore, it suggests that by doing so, Synge develops a more fluid and inclusive model of Irish national affiliation than other writers of the Irish Revival. Rather than seeing a break between Wildean aesthetics as they are embodied in the figure of the dandy and the figure of the peasant promoted by the Revival, the chapter reveals Synge’s project as an elaboration of queer aesthetic practices along new lines. By expanding our understanding of the queer beyond questions of identity to modes of style, the chapter explores how the critical and ethical concerns of queer theory might be brought to bear in novel contexts.

Keywords: John Millington Synge; Irish Revival; Irish peasantry; Irish national affiliation; dandy

Chapter.  13599 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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