Well, I know that I said in this week’s Tuesday Tome article that I would wait for a later week to consider the thematic overlap between Patrick McCabe’s novel Breakfast on Pluto and Neil Jordan’s movie The Crying Game, but when I noticed that Terry Cavanagh, the developer behind this week’s Mid-week Mission, was also Irish, I just decided to keep the Irish motif going. (This will probably be a short-lived pattern; if only I had saved some of my primary comments about C.S. Lewis for this week’s Friday Phil!)
As I also alleged in the McCabe article, the conflicted relationship in contemporary Irish art between ‘the traditional’ and ‘the modern’ is emblematic of an Ireland struggling to maintain a sense of its heritage while embracing an intellectual skepticism toward that heritage’s violence and anti-modern sensibilities. In particular, just like Breakfast on Pluto, The Crying Game expresses that relationship with the complexities of gender identity standing in for the modern and forms of Irish nationalism standing in for the traditional.
The nature of this article is such that it requires spoiling basic plot details of The Crying Game, so you should only continue reading after this paragraph if you either do not mind spoilers or have already seen the film. I also recommend, although it is not strictly necessary for understanding my case, reading my article on Breakfast on Pluto before diving into this one.
Identity, National and Gendered: