3rd July 2020
Liam Harrison, University of Birmingham
Content Note: Violence, Sexual Assault
‘I’m screaming in the blackness. Scream until I’m done my body. Full of nothing. Full of dirt the. I am’.
This burst of sound and fury marks the beginning of the end of Eimear McBride’s visceral tale of trauma, A Girl is a Half-formed Thing (2013). McBride’s debut novel has been discussed in terms of its modernist inheritance possibly more than any other novel in the twenty-first century. The discussions of A Girl’s modernist debts across book reviews and academic criticism have focused on its formally disjointed style, while the novel’s intertextuality has been praised as a sign of McBride’s modernist credentials. Instead of reading A Girl as ‘modernism’s return of the repressed’, or describing it through Joycean and Beckettian superlatives, I suggest we might turn to the notion of ‘late style’ as an alternative means of navigating McBride’s engagement with modernist legacies.Continue reading “Post-Millennial Modernism? Late Style and Eimear McBride’s A Girl is a Half-formed Thing”