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The Journal of English Language and Literature , Vol.64, No.4, 531 ~ 551, 2018
Robert McLiam Wilson’s Eureka Street: (Post)Modernity and the Social Ethics of Infinity
Sangwook Kim
This paper contemplates egalitarian ethics and ecumenical consumerism suggesting expansive possibilities of Northern Ireland’s sectarian limits towards unlimited spatialities in Robert McLiam Wilson’s Belfast novel, Eureka Street. This paper argues that Northern Ireland’s (Belfast’s) (post)modernity and a social ethics promoting outwardly mediated relationships are a vision for nonidentity Eureka Street espouses against the identity politics of Protestant-Catholic schism. Eureka Street remarkably challenges Northern Irish sectarian politics propelling inwardly unmediated relationships by ethical possibilities of infinitively mediated relationships. In the argument for a postmodern view of the novel, commodity fetishism and consumerism are considered as key to a prospect of emancipation of Northern Ireland from the political fetters of total identity the partisan communities impose on themselves. This paper also demonstrates that a post-national cosmopolitanism Eureka Street envisages embraces a new social solidarity predicated upon socio-political pluralisms against Northern Irish sectarian identities.
Key Words
Eureka Street, ethics, modernity, sectarianism, Belfast
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