By Mark Mossman
Protecting a various variety of figures and matters from Jonathan Swift's pornographic poetry to Oscar Wilde's recognized cello-shaped coat this publication collapses Irish stories into the serious point of view of disability stories: linking 'Irishness' and 'disability' jointly permits the emergence of a brand new severe point of view, an Irish incapacity reports.
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Extra resources for Disability, Representation and the Body in Irish Writing: 1800–1922
Strephon will learn the pleasure of deep order, so that when he sees “dung” he understands and indeed ﬁnds pleasure in knowing that “gaudy tulips” can be raised from it. The eyes, sight itself, are the primary instruments here of normalization and control, of discovering disorder, and then, eventually, of making order out of that disorder. What Strephon sees, feels, and smells in Celia’s room, from her body, sickens him and invokes, in terms of metaphor, another use of the eyes – a horrifying stare.
Formally the poem is built through the generic traditions of the pastoral. The lover (Strephon) and the Lady (Celia) both possess the conventional poetic names used in pastoral poetry and, in the ﬁrst four lines at least, the neoclassical poem follows an anticipated, Augustan pastoral structure in that at the beginning of the work the reader is presented with a bold, young, most likely supplicant lover and a goddess – a “haughty” Lady – who quite naturally emerges from her chamber in tissues and lace.
This time it is the critic who is conﬁguring Ireland as a body that is ill and that must be treated; this time it is the critic who is using a representation of the disabled body as a new supplementary conceptual structure or prosthesis upon which to build a new, supplemented version of the Irish nation. What is also key to note here, however, is the absolutely static seemingly perpetual nature of this representation, of Young’s mode of critique. As we have already seen, Seamus Deane is also able to key into this line of thought and understand Ireland as ﬁtting, perfectly, inside of it.