Body and mind of violence : the early works of Bernard MacLaverty.




Aspen, Sarah Beth.

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Bernard MacLaverty's often critically ignored early works embody and consider anti‐violence rhetoric not limited to the concurrent Troubles of his native province, as well as model a process of coming to terms with a community "ripping itself apart" (Benito de la Iglesia 200). The depiction of characters' bodies in his short story collection, Secrets (1977), through illness, contamination fears, and death, demonstrates the commonality among diverse, often opposing, characters. The latter half of this chapter is concerned with bereavement theory as it appears in A Time to Dance (1982), a model of MacLaverty's own processing of the bodily effects of violence and his beginning to imagine means to reconciliation. Finally, analysis of his first novel, Lamb (1980), illuminates the role of one’s creation of self‐narrative in maintaining a moral compass or encouraging evil acts, a dangerous habit the author sees as analogous to Northern Ireland's Troubles and similar situations of violence.