Epiphylogenetic Memory as Disorientation in Eimear McBride's A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD Candidate of English Literature, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor of Modern Irish and English Literature, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran



This article investigates Eimear McBride's novel A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing in the light of Bernard Stiegler's concept of disorientation. As a technical development, disorientation manifests itself in the girl's non-syntactic language and the gradual evolving linguistic repertoire as she matures. The article argues that McBride's usage of the idiomatic language and stream of consciousness is part of the narrator's tertiary memory or epiphylogenetic memory. The young protagonist-narrator cannot reach a state of equilibrium between her developing consciousness as an Irish girl and her "technic" of writing herself as the epiphylogenetic memory, hence her disorientation. The technics in the Irish context can include not only the Irish English, but also the theological and political technics which engulf the subject to form her or him to their image. Technics is a technical term used by Bernard Stiegler as the horizon of human existence. Technics, often used as a singular noun, is juxtaposed with episteme in order to highlight the ignorance of Western philosophy about the significant role it plays in the human evolution and consciousness.    


Main Subjects

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