[Film: The Crying Game, Neil Jordan, 1992]
Identity, National and Gendered:

How Neil Jordan’s The Crying Game Talks About Violence, as Compared to the Fiction of Patrick McCabe

 

Introduction:

Neil Jordan Sketch by M.R.P. - The Crying Game - gender identity, nationalism

Caricature Sketch by M.R.P.
[High-res prints available here]

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.

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[Film: The Crying Game, Neil Jordan, 1992]
Identity, National and Gendered:

How Neil Jordan’s The Crying Game Talks About Violence, as Compared to the Fiction of Patrick McCabe

was last modified: February 26th, 2021 by Daniel Podgorski

[Work: Breakfast on Pluto, Patrick McCabe, 1998]
Tradition Troubled:

Boisterous Fun, Visceral Bloodshed, and ‘Irishness’ in Patrick McCabe’s Breakfast on Pluto

Introduction:

Patrick McCabe - Breakfast on Pluto - Irish, gender, violenceOne of the goals of this site is to make sure that the style of the articles in each series (with the possible exception of Your Friday Phil) encompasses a range containing everything from advice lists to simple reviews to deeper analyses. The Tuesday Tome series is one which has spent the past couple of weeks dealing in dense, analytical material, so it is due for a simple review. In fact, this week’s article will take the form of a straightforward recommendation. And the book which I would like to recommend is Breakfast on Pluto, a 1998 novel by Patrick McCabe, one of the two books for which McCabe has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

This is both the strangest and second-most recent book which I have covered in the series so far. Breakfast on Pluto‘s strangeness results from its recentness, as it presents a combination of a raw depiction of violence in Ireland during the Troubles with a wistful, campy narrative voice provided by transgender character Patrick “Pussy” Braden. If the concept of a male human being with typically feminine character traits and a typically feminine fashion sense is an affront to your taste, then this book is not for you. But if you are a reader who might be interested in a work that challenges genre (and gender) conventions in order to tell a violent and uniquely Irish history in a new way, then read on.

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[Work: Breakfast on Pluto, Patrick McCabe, 1998]
Tradition Troubled:

Boisterous Fun, Visceral Bloodshed, and ‘Irishness’ in Patrick McCabe’s Breakfast on Pluto

was last modified: March 26th, 2020 by Daniel Podgorski