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'Tinkers'Synge and the Cultural History of the Irish Traveller$
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Mary Burke

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199566464

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199566464.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 October 2021

The End of the ‘Tinker’: Irish Writing after Traveller Politicization

The End of the ‘Tinker’: Irish Writing after Traveller Politicization

(p.173) 5 The End of the ‘Tinker’: Irish Writing after Traveller Politicization

Mary Burke (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The fifth chapter traces the replacement of the ‘stage tinker’ by the more even-handed portrayals of Travellers in the work of politically sensitive dramatists Bryan MacMahon, Tom Murphy, and John Arden that emerged after the minority’s politicization in the 1960. In terms of Abbey Theatre tradition, these more nuanced portrayals are considered as the homecoming of the empathetic Syngean impulse to the National Theatre after decades of exclusionary depictions of farcical and threatening ‘tinkers‘. As a result, the floodgates were opened to the emergence of Traveller writers who challenged traditional representations of their community, and the discourse of exoticness to which the minority had been subject was thereby transformed into the empowering rhetoric of ethnic difference. The chapter concludes with a survey of the contention with normative values of Traveller oral literature, and the response to Synge of Traveller writers Juanita Casey and Rosaleen McDonagh.

Keywords:   Traveller politicization, Bryan MacMahon, Tom Murphy, John Arden, Traveller writers, ethnic difference, oral literature, Juanita Casey, Rosaleen McDonagh

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