Vol. 11 (2021)
Sezione monografica / Monographic Section

The Problematics of Disability: Negotiating History through Self-referential Autistic Memory in Roddy Doyle’s "A Star Called Henry"

Shahriyar Mansouri
Shahid Beheshti University
Published June 16, 2021
Keywords
  • diegetic exuberance,
  • Disability Studies,
  • memoryscape,
  • self-reference effect,
  • self-eferential historical timescape
How to Cite
Mansouri, S. (2021). The Problematics of Disability: Negotiating History through Self-referential Autistic Memory in Roddy Doyle’s "A Star Called Henry". Studi Irlandesi. A Journal of Irish Studies, 11. https://doi.org/10.13128/SIJIS-2239-3978-12887

Abstract

In Aesthetic Nervousness (2007) Ato Quayson claims that the “confrontation between the ‘normate’ as the nondisabled and the disabled person creates a tension and causes […] nervousness” (17). To embed the binary of “the disabled and the normate” in the context of the history of Irish wars, especially the Irish War of independence with its social delicacies and politico-cultural bifurcations, unlike Quayson’s examination of physiological traits, this article explores the memory as the source that has survived intrapersonal and communal investigations of the past. Memory will be investigated as an autonomous source where references to past events are stored and independently reconsidered. The disabled will be examined in this article as central interlocutors who revisit and revaluate national and political histories through a semantic, timeless memoryscape. As a multidisciplinary research, by examining Roddy Doyle’s A Star Called Henry, this article treats historical revisionism as reactionary readings channeled through traumatized voices. To this end, concepts such as traumatized memory, and especially the shift from episodic to semantic memory and its function in retaining historical memories of national events such as wars and revolutions will be explored. This article claims that postmodern revisionist texts are artifacts of a timeless historio[c]-cultural memoryscape where autistic verbosity and traumatic self-referential memory reciprocate, producing a polyvalent locus that is not only textually attentive to describing details but also contextually multifaceted in crafting a history that simultaneously flirts with fact and fiction.

 

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