The Dead Republic, by Roddy Doyle: The Wisdom of Comic Heroism
Keywords:Roddy Doyle, The Dead Republic, myth, comic hero, tragic vision, subversion
Roddy Doyle is a writer who has reflected that human existence is an interplay between comedy and tragedy, and that therefore all kinds of evils—fanaticism, absolutism, dogmatism—result from cultivating only the tragic perspective. This becomes obvious in The Dead Republic (2010), a novel in which Henry Smart’s comic attitude to life allows Doyle to offer the reader a detached and non-sentimental view of contemporary Irish history. Both John Ford and the IRA want to reshape Henry’s story as a Republican hero to fit their own notion of Irishness and it is precisely in Henry’s response to this perversion of Irish history, politics and national identity that he reveals himself as the perfect comic hero and debunks all efforts to mystify the past.
Adams, Tim. “The Dead Republic by Roddy Doyle.” The Observer, 28 Mar. 2010, www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/mar/28/dead-republic-roddy-doyle-review. Accessed 22 Mar. 2011.
Aristotle. Poetics. Translated by Malcolm Heath, Penguin, 1996.
Bakhtin, Mikhail. Rabelais and His World. 1968. Translated by Helene Iswolsky, Indiana UP, 1984.
Bakhtin, Mikhail. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. 1981. Translated by Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist and edited by Michael Holquist, U of Texas P, 1992.
Berger, Peter L. Redeeming Laughter: The Comic Dimension of Human Experience. Gruyter, 1997.
Bergson, Henri. “Laughter.” 1900. Translated by Ellen Raskin. Comedy, edited by Wylie Sypher, Johns Hopkins UP, 1980, pp. 61‒190.
Brannigan, John. “‘The Battle for the GPO’: Literary Revisionism in Roddy Doyle’s A Star Called Henry and Jamie O’Neill’s At Swim, Two Boys.” Kaleidoscopic Views of Ireland, edited by Munira H. Mutran and Laura P.Z. Izarra, Universidade de Sao Paulo, 2003, pp. 115‒32.
Bray, Christopher. “The Dead Republic, by Roddy Doyle.” The Independent, 4 Apr. 2010, www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/the-dead-republic-by-roddy-doyle/. Accessed 22 Mar. 2011.
Charles, Ron. “Roddy Doyle’s The Dead Republic.” The Washington Post, 19 May 2010, www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/ 2010/05/18/ AR2010051804485.html/. Accessed 22 Mar. 2011.
Cosgrove, Brian. “Roddy Doyle’s Backward Look: Tradition and Modernity in Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.” Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review, vol. 85, no. 339, 1996, pp. 231‒42.
Deleuze, Gilles. “What is the Creative Act.” 1987. Translated by Alison M. Gingeras. French Theory in America, edited by Sylvère Lotringer and Sande Cohen, Routledge, 2001, pp. 99‒107.
Donnelly, Brian. “Roddy Doyle: From Barrytown to the GPO.” Irish University Review, vol. 30, no. 1, 2000, pp. 17‒31.
Dillon, Brian. “The Dead Republic by Roddy Doyle.” The Telegraph, 5 Apr. 2010, www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/bookreviews/7544985/The-Dead-Republic-by-Roddy-Doyle-review.html/. Accessed 22 Mar. 2011.
Dillon, Brian. “An Interview with Roddy Doyle.” breac. A Digital Journal of Irish Studies, 12 Apr. 2013, breac.nd.edu/articles/38982-an-interview-with-roddy-doyle-2/. Accessed 7 Mar. 2016.
Doyle, Roddy. A Star Called Henry. Jonathan Cape, 1999.
Doyle, Roddy. The Dead Republic. Jonathan Cape, 2010.
Drewett, James. “An Interview with Roddy Doyle.” Irish Studies Review, vol. 11, no. 3, 2003, pp. 337‒49.
Farquharson, Danine. “The Anxiety of Influence and the Fiction of Roddy Doyle.” A Companion to Irish Literature, vols. 1 & 2, edited by Julia M. Wright, Blackwell, 2010, pp. 410‒24.
Freud, Sigmund. Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious. 1905. Translated by James Strachey and edited by Angela Richards, Penguin, 1991.
Frye, Northrop. The Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays. 1957. Penguin, 1990.
Goodstein, Jack. “The Dead Republic by Roddy Doyle.” Blogcritics Books, 10 April 2010, blogcritics.org/books/article/book-review-the-dead-republic-by-roddy-doyle/. Accessed 23 Mar. 2011.
Grove-White, Elizabeth. “On the Move Again.” The Globe and Mail, 28 May 2010, www.theglobeandmail.com/news/art/books/review-the-dead-republic-by-roddy-doyle/. Accessed 23 Mar. 2011.
Gutwirth, Marcel. Laughing Matter: An Essay on the Comic. Cornell UP, 1993.
Hagan, Edward A. “Memory Ireland: Computing Consciousness and Historical Coma.” New Hibernia Review, vol. 14, no. 4, 2010, pp. 129‒33.
Hyers, Conrad. The Spirituality of Comedy: Comic Heroism in a Tragic World. Transaction, 1996.
Jacklein, Charlotte. “Rebel Songs and Hero Pawns: Music in A Star Called Henry.” New Hibernia Review, vol. 9, no. 4, 2005, pp. 129‒43.
McCarthy, Dermot. Roddy Doyle: Raining on the Parade. Liffey, 2003.
McGonigle, Lisa. “Rednecks and Southsiders Need Not Apply.” Irish Studies Review, vol. 13, no. 2, 2005, pp. 163‒73.
McWay, Mary. “Interview with Roddy Doyle.” The Celtic Connection, 27 April 2010, celticevents.com/2010/04/27/interview-with-roddy-doyle/. Accessed 7 Mar. 2016.
Morreal, John. “Comic Vices and Comic Virtues.” Humor, vol. 23, no. 1, 2010, pp. 1‒26.
Morreal, John. “The Comic and Tragic Visions of Life.” Humor, vol. 11, no. 4, 1998, pp. 333‒55.
Moynihan, Sinéad “‘The Ghost of the Real Leg’: Maurice Walsh, John Ford, and Adaptation in Roddy Doyle’s The Dead Republic.” New Hibernia Review, vol. 15, no. 1, 2011, pp. 49‒63.
Nathans-Kelly, Steve. “The Dead Republic by Roddy Doyle.” First Look Books, 18 Mar. 2010, firstlookbooks.blogspot.com/2010/03/review-dead-republic-by-roddy-doyle.html/. Accessed 23 Mar. 2011.
Neary, Lynn. “Roddy Doyle’s Man of Ireland at the End of the Road.” NPR, 20 May 2010, www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126979579/. Accessed 23 Mar. 2011.
Perkins, Roger. “The Dead Republic by Roddy Doyle.” The Telegraph, 28 Mar. 2010, www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/7520194/The-Dead-Republic-by-Roddy-Doyle/. Accessed 23 Mar. 2011.
Piroux, Lorraine. “‘I’m Black an’ I’m Proud’: Re-Inventing Irishness in Roddy Doyle’s The Commitments.” College Literature, vol. 25, no. 2, 1998, pp. 45‒57.
Rennison, Nick. “The Dead Republic by Roddy Doyle.” The Times, 28 March 2010, entertainment.timesonline.co.uk./tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/ fiction/article/7074476.ece/. Accessed 22 Mar. 2011.
Sypher, Wylie. “The Meanings of Comedy.” Comedy, edited by Wylie Sypher, The Johns Hopkins UP, 1980, pp. 193‒255.
Sutton, Dana F. The Catharsis of Comedy. Rowman and Littlefield, 1994.
Tayler, Cristopher. “The Dead Republic by Roddy Doyle.” The Guardian, 3 Apr. 2010, www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/apr/03/dead-republic-roddy-doyle-review/. Accessed 22 Mar. 2011.
Taylor, Charles. “The Salon Interview: Roddy Doyle.” Salon, 28 Sept. 1999, www.salon.com/1999/10/28/doyle_2/. Accessed 11 Mar. 2018.
Tekin, Burcu Gülüm. “An Interview with Roddy Doyle.” Estudios Irlandeses, vol. 9, 2014, pp. 107‒20.
Tierney, Mark. Ireland since 1870. C. J. Fallon, 1992.
Whelan, Kevin. “The Revisionist Debate in Ireland.” boundary 2, vol. 31, no. 1, 2004, pp. 179‒205.
How to Cite
Authors retain publishing rights and grant ES Review. Spanish Journal of English Studies right of first publication.
Simultaneously, all articles and reviews published in ES Review will be available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial (CC-BY-NC) license, by which others are allowed to share and use their work with an acknowledgement of the work’s authorship and initial publication in this journal.
In addition, ES Review allows authors to arrange additional contracts for the non-exclusive publication of the journal’s published version of the work (e.g., in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal. In such a case, authors are required to approach the editor(s)/publisher to request permission.