Ireland North and South was on the cusp of great promise and utter disaster and civil war was lurching forward and pulling back all the time. Though the song is referenced in the film, it only appears over the end credits. The Butcher Boy , from , was the first McCabe co-authored both screenplays. Summer of Family Come rain or shine our guide will help your family make the most of it. In this way I found the stories to be McCabe, a two-time Booker Prize nominee, is cursing a computer that will not allow his year-old daughter to go on-line in search of information on the Titanic. Not that the author makes the assumption that one of these areas of experience is responsible for the other.
This results in a number of blurred oppositions throughout his story: reality versus fiction, beauty versus horror, sanity versus madness, intentional gesture versus uncontrolled spasm. The song associates the soothing gestures of a morning ritual with the exciting otherness of a different planet. McCabe in turn subverts the question of war through his gender-bending hero: by queering the war, Pussy partially exorcises its trauma and exposes the impossible task of the testimonial narrative.
McCabe uses this at the meta-narrative level to subvert fiction and to reflect on the troubled relationship between an author and his story.
I will address the question of queer gesture, violence and fiction in Breakfast on Pluto by examining in turn the transgressive performance of gender, the violence of action, and the duties of fiction. Words, acts, gestures, and desire produce the effect of an internal core or substance, but produce this on the surface of the body ….
Such acts, gestures, enactments, generally construed, are performative in the sense that the essence or identity that they otherwise purport to express are fabrications manufactured and sustained through corporeal signs and other discursive means.
That the gendered body is performative suggests that it has no ontological status apart from the various acts which constitute its reality 9. For Butler to say that the gendered body is performative means that it puts on a performance and that, like a speech act, it makes things happen. In Breakfast on Pluto , Patrick Braden both asserts and subverts an idea of femininity through the practice of drag. While Butler strongly posits that the implicit ideal is created and reinforced through performances of gender, Breakfast on Pluto shows a blurring of lines through its representation of ambivalent gender models.
In Breakfast , camp is both deliberate and strongly political, at two narrative levels. At the meta-narrative level, McCabe uses his transgressive character to denounce the violence of sectarian war and the social conformism of Catholic Ireland. BP , And being a right old tart raising my sequined mini to drive them mad!
Punishment is necessarily inflicted on his body to set him straight in every sense of the word. To readers, his candid account provides a scathing satire of society as a whole. Throughout his story, Patrick contrasts his subversive gender-performance with the acceptable transgressions benevolently looked on by the community.
Father Bernard McIvor will be busying himself inside his sacristy. Patrick denounces the hypocrisy of social acceptability while pointing to the actual perversion of the priest hiding his own crimes behind the sanctity of his dress. My escort work I gave up yonks ago, one night just breaking down in the arms of some poor unfortunate man … , and the next day presenting the Kilburn War On Want shop with the entire contents of my delicious wardrobe! Except for my housecoat and headscarf, of course, which provide so much amusement around this home for tufty-nosed labourers.
I was coming in from the shop the other day and ran into a few of them on the stairs.
Born in Clones, Co. Monaghan in , McCabe grew up in a little border town that seemed to be bordering on everything including insanity, hysteria and civilization.
It was, he recalls, a town full of dark secrets and unforgettable characters, and like everyone else there he talked to everyone else there. When people are in a state of extremis their true nature comes out. I just lassoed the phrase. If you look at Ireland now you see the chickens are coming home to roost in many ways. If there is a certain lack of rigor it will have consequences.
It will reconstitute itself, he shows us, but the community it was will be transformed into something else. The implications of that are unavoidable. The want to know the town, then the town land, then the lane or street. This is an understatement.
No other contemporary Irish writer even comes close to McCabe in terms of his modernity. Rock and roll and sex and madness and religiosity and hypocrisy and more besides are always threatening to rip every community he writes about wide open, usually from the inside, and usually from the first paragraph. I saw a lot of color in that book and a lot of fierce internal thinking going on. The surprise was that a book as modern as The Butcher Boy found an audience right away in Ireland.