“My grandfathers’ double troubles”: Joseph O’ Neill’s “Blood-Dark Track: A Family History”. Biofiction or Autobiofiction?
- Irish nationalism,
- Joseph O’Neill,
In Blood-Dark Track: A Family History (2000), Joseph O’Neill, a journalist and barrister of Irish origins living in the Netherlands, (re)constructs the lives of his two grandfathers, the paternal one, Jim O’Neill, an IRA activist from Ireland, and the maternal one, Joseph Dakad, a businessman from Turkey. The two men shared the traumatic experience of being jailed more or less at the same time (1940s) for no clearly apparent political reasons. The grandson’s search to dispel “the taut silences” that covered their incarcerations is to be read as a detective story, an example of biofiction, or, rather, a personal investigation attempting to close the gap between the different cultures that contributed to create his identity clarifying in the process the concepts of nationalism and nationhood.