The City's Hostile Bodies: Coriolanus's Rome and Carson's Belfast
Modern Humanities Research Association
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When change is articulated in literary cities, from the early republican Rome of Coriolanus (1608) to the Troubles Belfast of Ciaran Carson‘s Belfast Confetti (1989), bodies become agents of that change. These bodies-at-war induce stasis: a civil war in which the domestic is politicized, the political domesticated. To resolve the violence at the heart of evolving polities, hostile bodies claim sovereignty over the city: Shakespeare‘s plebeians or Coriolanus; Carson's unionists or nationalists. Both texts resolve antagonisms through the paradoxical logic of hospitality, realizing divided yet fully functioning cities where hosts hospitably contest with other hosts, and bodies underpin the political (r)evolutions.
Modern Language Review;
Taylor-Collins, N. (2020) 'The City's Hostile Bodies: Coriolanus's Rome and Carson's Belfast', Modern Language Review, 115(1), 17–45. DOI: 10.5699/modelangrevi.115.1.0017.
Article published in Modern Language Review in January 2020, available at: https://doi.org/10.5699/modelangrevi.115.1.0017.
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))