Jesse Bordwin deposited Against Reference: On Reading Objects in Éilís Ní Dhuibhne’s The Bray House on Humanities Commons 3 years, 5 months ago
Editor’s note: The interdisciplinary movement known as the material turn underpins Dr. Jesse Bordwin’s examination of Éilis Ní Dhuibne’s 1990 novel The Bray House. The very premise of the novel lends it to such analysis: The Bray House is ostensibly an account of a future archaeological excavation of a twentieth-century Irish home after nuclear devastation. But, like all futurist fiction, the novel is really about the present. As the archaeologists examine objects abstracted from their lived context, they begin with the assumption that objects are informative and that they can be classified and fully explained. Object-oriented literary criticism, Bordwin shows, helps us to counter that impulse to simplify, for it moves us away from thinking that literary objects have a one-to-one relationship with material reality.