Between Innovation and Iteration: Post-Joycean Heteroglossia in Eimear McBride's A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing

Leszek Drong
2019 Studia Litteraria Universitatis Iagellonicae Cracoviensis  
Eimear McBride's A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing (2013) is a prime specimen of post-Joycean heteroglossia in Irish fi ction. The novel exhibits a programmatic dialogical/intertextual orientation orchestrated with its own parodic and ironic modes, which makes McBride's work uniquely capable of re-energizing Irish cultural tradition. Simultaneously, her novel contributes its own distinct voice to the impressive amplitude of artistic expressions which have emerged from Irish culture in the wake of
more » ... yce's writings. Mikhail Bahtin's approach to the novel (as discussed in The Dialogic Imagination), in turn, is particularly relevant to McBride's fi ction because of her incorporation (as well as adaptation) of a variety of voices and perspectives. As a consequence, in A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing, the categories of heteroglossia and dialogism appear to be responsible for creating and sustaining a vital cultural dimension, a dimension which is subject to being perpetually rewritten in the present, even though it crucially depends upon ur-texts from the past.
doi:10.4467/20843933st.19.004.10081 fatcat:ydr2hh546jdnfh4v5b74rynxbe