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"A Star Called Henry" and "At Swim, Two Boys": the deconstruction of the tragic paradigm
Año del Documento
ES: Revista de filología inglesa, 2005, N.26, pags.71-90
A Star Called Henry (1999) and At Swim, Two Boys (2001) are two novels in which their authors try to demystify one of the crucial moments in the history of Ireland, the 1916 Easter Rising, and the circumstances that surrounded it by means of the subversive and liberating power of laughter. Both texts reveal the contradictions and absurdities of the whole process of independence and unmask the fanaticism, dogmatism and tyranny of the revolutionary leaders. Our aim here is not to analyse those aspects of the rebellion that are criticized in the two novels, but how both writers demystify the figure of the tragic hero by creating one that possesses the characteristic virtues of the comic hero: humour, generosity, flexibility, willingness to compromise, affection, love, sympathy, etc.
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