MOVING FROM TOPOGRAPHIC TO RELATIONAL SPACES IN BRIAN FRIEL’S DRAMA: SPATIAL RECONFIGURATIONS IN DANCING AT LUGHNASA, WONDERFUL TENNESSEE AND MOLLY SWEENEY

2021-7
Öztürk Yagci, Dilek
This study explores the spatial dynamics of Brian Friel’s drama, mainly in his three plays of the 1990s, Dancing at Lughnasa (1990), Wonderful Tennessee (1993), and Molly Sweeney (1994) against the backdrop of Doreen B. Massey’s relational understanding of space. Drawing on Massey’s reconceptualization of “space” , “place”, and “landscape”, it will be argued in this dissertation that Brian Friel’s plays challenge the conventional idea of rootedness and authentic identity attached to Ireland and Irishness. These plays, subverting the prevalent notions of sense of place and cultural identity, and emphasizing the multiple, shifting, and unbounded nature of places and people, offer an alternative way of approaching space and subjectivity in Ireland and Irish writing. Along with Massey’s conceptual tools, Edward Soja’s concept “Thirdspace” will be employed in order to highlight how spaces and places in Friel’s drama are open and porous, and how they draw attention to the intertwining nature of the spatial and the social. Through the analysis of these late plays of Ballybeg, an imaginary town epitomizing Friel’s vision of the fifth province, an-Other realm for rethinking Ireland and Irishness, this study will conclude that Friel, undermining monolithic constructions of national space and identity, forges a relational understanding of Ireland which embraces multiplicity, the cluster of relations, meetings, encounters and transformation –- a “global sense of place” embodying “the chance of space” within and beyond in Doreen Massey’s terms.

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Citation Formats
D. Öztürk Yagci, “MOVING FROM TOPOGRAPHIC TO RELATIONAL SPACES IN BRIAN FRIEL’S DRAMA: SPATIAL RECONFIGURATIONS IN DANCING AT LUGHNASA, WONDERFUL TENNESSEE AND MOLLY SWEENEY,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2021.