Green fields and blue roads: The melancholy of the girl walker in Irish women’s fiction

Show simple item record O'Connor, Maureen 2017-09-18T09:08:15Z 2017-09-18T09:08:15Z 2017-03-01
dc.identifier.citation O'Connor, M. (2017) 'Green Fields and Blue Roads: The Melancholy of the Girl Walker in Irish Women’s Fiction', Critical Survey, 29(1), pp. 90-104. doi:10.3167/cs.2017.290106 en
dc.identifier.volume 29 en
dc.identifier.issued 1 en
dc.identifier.startpage 90 en
dc.identifier.endpage 104 en
dc.identifier.issn 00111570
dc.identifier.doi 10.3167/cs.2017.290106
dc.description.abstract Lawrence Buell has observed that ‘Ecology as green … perpetuates the implication of binary nature-culture separation … and understates the potential for self-intoxicated fetishization of greenery’. The fetishization of greenery has unique connotations for cultural production in Ireland, a country inevitably identified with the colour and with romanticized landscapes. This essay will examine the establishment and maintenance of the myth of ‘natural’ and pure womanhood, a fetishized commodity central to constructions of twentieth-century Irishness, as represented in novels by three contemporary writers, Clare Boylan, Edna O’Brien, and Éilís Ní Dhuinhne. The discussion will focus on the figure of the girl walking through the Irish landscape, a setting against which the girl appears both as a ‘natural’ reproductive resource to be cultivated for exploitation and as an embodiment of the contradictions subtending her position caught between ideas of the cultural and the natural. These Irish women’s texts, to borrow Joe Kennedy’s phrase, ‘puncture the pastoral’, often by complicating notions of the countryside as retreat and haven, a challenge with implications for women’s place in imagining Irish national identity. The girls’ relationship to the landscape through which they travel is a traumatised one. At once captured and troubled by their own reduction to the ‘natural’, their valuation as reproductive resource, they are drawn to the ‘green’ world, even as they recognise the dangers it represents. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Berghahn Journals en
dc.rights This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedited version of an article published in Critical Survey. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at: en
dc.subject Ecocriticism en
dc.subject Ecofeminism en
dc.subject Ecotheory en
dc.subject Environmental humanities en
dc.subject Environmentalism en
dc.subject Irish fiction en
dc.subject Irish women’s writing en
dc.subject Material ecocriticism en
dc.title Green fields and blue roads: The melancholy of the girl walker in Irish women’s fiction en
dc.type Article (peer-reviewed) en
dc.internal.authorcontactother Maureen O'Connor, English, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. +353-21-490-3000 Email: en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en Access to this article is restricted until 24 months after publication by request of the publisher. en 2019-03-01 2017-09-14T17:54:55Z
dc.description.version Accepted Version en
dc.internal.rssid 337063850
dc.description.status Peer reviewed en
dc.identifier.journaltitle Critical Survey en
dc.internal.copyrightchecked No !!CORA!! en
dc.internal.licenseacceptance Yes en
dc.internal.IRISemailaddress en

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

This website uses cookies. By using this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with the UCC Privacy and Cookies Statement. For more information about cookies and how you can disable them, visit our Privacy and Cookies statement