Colin Graham, Deconstructing
Ireland: Identity, Theory & Culture (Edinburgh UP 2001), pp.85-87
Parrys is a sceptical summary, but it does describe accurately the places which Bhabhas critique has sought to inhabit and, by extension, indicates the stratified sets of debates which Irish postcolonial theory has run into. The direct refutation of Irelands postcolonial status by historians is perhaps the least productive example of such arguments (though I will suggest later that certain strands of revisionism have a deconstructive germ contained within them). Bhabhas ambivalence has, equally, been stabilised in Irish criticism into a notional hybridity which understands the enunciative split as a replay of the binary divide of colonialism itself and therefore deadens its impact on either side of that divide; Declan Kiberds image of the quilt of many patches and colours, all beautiful, all distinct, yet all connected, wrapped around the shoulders of Cathleen ni Houlihan, is one striking example of how the hybrid can be reconfigured into old totalities. (Inventing Ireland, 1995, p.653.) Equally David Lloyds notion of Ireland as anomalous  has suffered by being interpreted as a contradiction (both/neither) which can be rendered meaninglessly the same as before that anomaly was articulated. (Graham, pp.85-87.)
Quotes Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak: Deconstruction does not say there is no subject, there is no truth, there is no history. It simply questions the privileging of identity so that someone is believed to have the truth. It is not the exposure of error. It is constantly and persistently looking into how truths are produced. (Donna Landry and Gerald MacLean, eds., The Spivak Reader, London: Routledge 1996, p.27; here p.123.)
On Bhabha: As Homi Bhabha suggests, writing on contingency as the time of counter-hegemonic strategies: Such indeterminism is the mark of the conflictual yet productive spaces in which the arbitrariness of the sign of cultural signification emerges within the regulated boundaries of social discourse. (The Location of Culture, 1996, p.172.) For Bhabha, these productive spaces are still restricted yet abundant. In searching for them, and for the stragegies by which the subaltern may be known, we should remember the affiliative properties of the subaltern (submerging the subaltern further into silence), the subalterns relation to subsets of regulated boundaries and the need to see the performative aspects of the subaltern emerge wherever the arbitrariness of the sign can be prised into a gap which offers indeterminacy, catching the hegemony off guard and complacent. In this the popular text will play a key role. (p.121.)
Placing popular cultural texts in the theoretical framework of postcolonial criticism is largely untested discursive intersection. Hybridity as a conceptual framework for understanding colonial and postcolonial culture has the advantage of acknowledging culture, when caught between centripetally organised ideological entities, as an often unstable state of affairs in which categories are maintained as ghosts of their original presences. Homi Bhabha usefully argues that colonial domination is reliant on a denial of its dislocatory presence in order to preserve the authority of its identity. Bhabhas initial illustration in his essay is a translated Bible, an authoritative cultural text propelled into the domain of the low and colonised, and this can enable the leveraging of a potential space in which the cultural and colonial statuses which seek to construct the text allow cross-hatched reading trajectories. […] Following Bhabha, it can be argued that the colonial texts pressure to authorise itself, to deny its own dislocation, is eased when that text is placed within what is already a discourse of authority (and in this sense Bhabha sees this struggle to deny dislocation as the weakness and force of colonial texts). Put simply for the case of Irish culture, it may be that it is now only partially possible to read hybridity in Joyce or yeasts since the discourses in which these texts exist (that of Joyce scholarship, for example, or of Irish literature) are already established within what Bhabha calls teleological narratives of historical and political evolutionism (Location of Culture, 1994, p.111.) For example, the history of literature, of modernism, or indeed cultural or literary nationalism). (p.156.)
The patchy literary historiography undertaken during the Revival was never entirely able to fill in, for itself, the narrative of Irish literature that led to the founding moments of the Revival. The Revival had to be its own point of origin. In being a revival it had not quite done away with literary history, but it had started from the assumption that almost nothing was in place.
Colin Graham, ’Literary Historiography, 1890-2000, in The Cambridge History of Irish Literature 2 vols edited by Margaret Kelleher and Philip O’Leary (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2006), II, p.568.