Riverdancing as the ship goes down


Donnelly, K.J. (2004) Riverdancing as the ship goes down. In, Bergfelder, Tim and Street, Sarah (eds.) The Titanic in Myth and Memory: Representations in Visual and Literary Culture. London, GB, I.B.Tauris, 205-214.

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Description/Abstract

The prominent position of Irish people and culture in Titanic (1997) is something more than an acknowledgement of historical fact; it is structural and symbolic, which is arguably one of the principal functions of packaged ‘Irishness’ in the international cultural arena. Irishness certainly should be central to Titanic. The ship was made in Belfast, last put in at Cobh (Queenstown as was) and Irish people made up a proportion of steerage passengers and the crew. But instead, the Irish in the film occupy a bizarre position: firstly they constitute a colourful background, and secondly they embody a charged symbolism in the film. Dramatic (and other) concerns have obliterated representational concerns - and consequently, from this point of view, rendered the description ‘realistic’ meaningless.

This paper is concerned with how Titanic trades in the international commodity of ‘Irishness’, particularly in musical format. This is not necessarily Irish but is something labelled and sold as ‘Irish’. James Cameron’s film keys into the international commodification of Irish culture, here filtered through the mythological aura surrounding the event of the Titanic’s sinking

Item Type: Book Section
ISBNs: 9781850434320 (paperback)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Humanities > Film Studies
ePrint ID: 153071
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2010 12:53
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 19:11
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/153071

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