I have chosen to provide an ‘Afterword’ at this point rather than a ‘Conclusion’. Throughout, I have argued that the late twentieth-century novel in Northern Ireland and Ireland might be usefully read through Homi Bhabha’s work on what happens when the previously marginalized or silenced emerge from the margins and through Jacques Derrida’s ideas about concealment. I see this book as part of an ongoing engagement on both my part and the reader’s with Irish fiction. If, as I have tried to argue, the late twentieth-century novel in Ireland and Northern Ireland occupies an in-between cultural and intellectual space, then, it almost goes without saying, that space is marked by uncertainty and ideological conflict. However, it is important to separate the postmodern novel in Ireland and Northern Ireland from the Anglo-American postmodern novel. Generally speaking, the latter is often much more committed than many contemporary Irish novels to an all-pervading scepticism as to whether representation can ever be anything more than the product of, and the disseminator of, preconceptions. To adapt Bhabha’s terms, it is on the side of ‘relocation’, perhaps at times endlessly so, rather than ‘reinscription’. More often than not, it is the reverse that is true of the Irish novel.
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