“The World is still Beautiful”: An Eco-philosophical Reading of Eugene McCabe’s Victims Trilogy

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This paper focuses on Irish writer, playwright and television screenwriter Eugene
McCabe’s fictional representation of the Northern Irish ‘Troubles’ in his trilogy Victims, published in the collection Heaven Lies about Us (2005). Living most of his life on his family farm on the Monaghan/Fermanagh border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, McCabe had a deep understanding of the historically entrenched hatreds, bigotry and fundamentalisms of its inhabitants, and his fiction reflects the human tragedy underlying the violence. This paper
draws on an eco-philosophical framework to suggest that by capturing the entanglement between the natural and cultural place-world McCabe’s poetics offers, from a liberal humanist perspective, an indictment of anthropocentric patriarchy at the root of violent dispute. McCabe’s literary world, evoking natural and cultural landscapes, encapsulates the absurdity of isolating territories via false political borders, marginalizing the value of bioregion and diversity and ignoring the vital oneness of humanity. Thus, though McCabe’s short stories are
indeed culturally and politically specific, in shedding light on the self destructiveness of human behaviour they are ultimately timeless and universal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-183
Number of pages12
JournalEstudios Irlandeses
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2023


  • Eugene McCabe
  • Eco-philosophy
  • 'Victims' trilogy
  • Place
  • The Troubles
  • Arne Naess
  • Liberal Humanism
  • Sustainability benchmarking


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