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The Poor Bugger’s ToolIrish Modernism, Queer Labor, and Postcolonial History$
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Patrick R. Mullen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199746699

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746699.001.0001

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“Sinn Feiners, me arse. I’m A Socialist, Never doubt about it”

“Sinn Feiners, me arse. I’m A Socialist, Never doubt about it”

Jamie O’Neill’s At Swim, Two Boys and the Queer Project of Socialism

(p.147) Chapter 6 “Sinn Feiners, me arse. I’m A Socialist, Never doubt about it”
The Poor Bugger’s Tool

Patrick R. Mullen

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Jamie O’Neill’s queer recasting of the events of Easter 1916 and argues that the novel offers the chance to imagine a queer socialist politics of affect and cultural value. The chapter suggests that the novel examines the politics of value by exploring the relations between two poles of aesthetic value: the cliché and the literary. Furthermore, the novel politicizes the problem of aesthetic value through the story of the young socialist Doyle Doyler and by inviting the reader to participate in the evaluation of literary experience. The chapter returns to the politics of reader response introduced in the chapter on Wilde, and it argues for an understanding of the historical and political dimensions of aesthetic experience.

Keywords:   Jamie O’Neill, aesthetic value, Easter 1916, queer socialist politics, Doyle Doyler, Oscar Wilde, aesthetic experience

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