‘A warmer memory’
Speaking of Ireland
in Across the margins

The role of the intellectual voice in the construction of radical identities has been central to the post-colonial critique of Ireland. This chapter considers Roland Barthes' Michelet to initiate a discussion of the strategies of writing about Ireland in relation to the critical 'self' which becomes implicated in that 'Ireland'. Barthes' Michelet exemplifies the fact that 'crossing marginality' is the constitutive paradox of the radical intellectual voice. Irish critical voices find themselves in varieties of Michelet's structural predicament. The chapter examines the role which the 'warmer memory' of 'the people' crucially undertakes in the processes of a criticism which takes to itself or asserts identity politics. It discusses the 'organic' necessities of the intellectual as they are reacted against and reconstructed in James Joyce's Stephen Dedalus.

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Across the margins

Cultural identity and change in the Atlantic archipelago

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