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Both Gothic and postcolonial theory centre on the self and the other, and on the relationships of dominance concurrent to them. Gothic literature has traditionally explored this relationship through the dichotomy self vs. other, identifying the former with the protagonist while the latter would be everything else in that world. Postcolonial theory applied to Ireland has traditionally understood this axiom in the realization of the opposition Irish vs. English. The short stories of J.C. Mangan, however, challenge that axiom by further complicating a reductionist perception of the Irish (literary) scene. The main argument of the present paper, therefore, is that far from being a dichotomy, the Irish case is better understood as a triangle in which two of its vertices are fixed—Catholics/Irish and English—while the third vertex, that of the Anglo-Irish, gradually shifts positions from the English to the Irish one, following a creolization process in which they are both victims and victimizers.
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