In recent decades, Belfast writer Ciarán Carson has emerged as one of the most inventive of contemporary literary voices, in part for his unique style of textualizing space. Driven in some ways by the very specific technological challenges of the conflict zone of Troubles-era Belfast, Carson’s poetry and prose are marked by what we might describe as tech paranoia—but, in a constructive poetic answer, his texts create new logics for using tech materials, machines, and high-tech spaces in ways that privilege creativity. It is no coincidence, notes literary and technology theorist Katherine Hayles, that “the condition of virtuality is most pervasive and advanced” where centers of power are most concentrated and conflicted intersections most frequently occur. Carson’s oeuvre illustrates the point, employing the technology of the printed page to simulate and process the zone of conflict in new, postdigital ways. This article poses Carson’s texts as ideal for exploring issues that connect regional identities, technology, and the arts—including highly topical issues around terrorism and nationhood—that are highly relevant for contemporary students of literature.

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