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After the Peace: Performing Placelessness in David Ireland’s Cyprus Avenue

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2021, 34(3), pp.203-228
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama
  • Received : November 14, 2021
  • Accepted : December 12, 2021
  • Published : December 31, 2021

Hyesun Jang 1

1한양대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper examines how contemporary Northern Irish playwright David Ireland’s Cyprus Avenue (2016) articulates the Northern Irish unionists’ antagonism in tandem with the displacement of Ulster in a world of changing spaces. While post-Troubles Northern Irish dramas have been easily grouped together with a shared sensibility in their attitude towards the processes of truth and reconciliation, Ireland’s drama regards the process of spatial homogenization as a crisis, a sense of placelessness, or the loss of the socio-culturally distinct Northern Irish identity. Cyprus Avenue traces the unionists’ sense of placelessness, fear, and anger for the identity dissolution, as globalization requires the psychological and emotional attachment to Northern Irish place to be erased. The play further shows the burdens of geo-ideologically liminal positioning of Ulster unionism and unionists’ psychogeography by highlighting bizarre and violent ways in which unionism is maintained and reproduced in the post-peace process Brexit era. The dramatic power of Ireland draws on the tension between the placelessness in a world of changing spaces and the quest for the assertion of the primacy of place. Ireland’s drama helps to acknowledge new predicaments and contestations of disintegrating Ulster unionism in shaping the milieu of post-peace process Northern Ireland. Rather than defining or constructing a unique identity, Cyprus Avenue allows us to examine contrasting dramatic focuses for contemporary Northern Irish geography as the play adheres to, yet challenges the Northern Irish identity problems. On a broader scope, this paper aims to demonstrate that Ireland’s drama can significantly contribute to understanding different dimensions of the Northern Irish milieu.

Citation status

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