• Investigating the Postcolonial Grotesque in Martin McDonaghʼs A Very Very Very Dark Matter

    Author(s):
    Amel Abbady (see profile)
    Date:
    2023
    Group(s):
    CLCS 20th- and 21st-Century, TC History and Literature, TC Postcolonial Studies, TM Literary and Cultural Theory
    Subject(s):
    Grotesque in literature, Postcolonialism, McDonagh, Martin, Andersen, H. C. (Hans Christian), 1805-1875
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    martin mcdonagh, Grotesque, Congo, king leopold, rubber
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/0axa-9m07
    Abstract:
    McDonagh is arguably one of the most celebrated yet most controversial of contemporary Anglo-Irish playwrights. His plays have received mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike, mostly for featuring graphic violence and obscene dialogues. Even though comedy is mostly seen as an inferior genre compared to tragedy, McDonagh, among many contemporary Anglo-Irish writers, makes use of the malleability of the grotesque to address myriads of serious issues. In his most recent play A Very Very Very Dark Matter (2018), McDonagh juxtaposes both comic and grotesque elements to create a black comedy that manages to represent the painful memories of colonial history. This comic mediation of pain and suffering is only one of the several aspects of the grotesque that are present in Dark Matter. Through a nuanced examination of the features and functions of the grotesque in Dark Matter, this articles aims to illustrate how, by means of the grotesque, McDonagh manages to address the seminal issues of colonialism and social justice. The article shows that by recurring to the shocking, the repugnant, and the fantastical, McDonagh manages to remind his audience of the ugliness of colonial realities. A careful examination of the play reveals that McDonagh employs the grotesque to undermine the power and arrogance of Europe and to remind the audience of the atrocities committed against Africa and other colonized nations in the name of white supremacy.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    10 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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