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The (De-)Construction of Englishness and the Invention of National History in Julian Barnes' England, England (1998) von Pakditawan, Sirinya (eBook)

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 02.03.2012
  • Verlag: Examicus Verlag
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The (De-)Construction of Englishness and the Invention of National History in Julian Barnes' England, England (1998)

Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1, University of Hamburg, language: English, abstract: Numerous contemporary British novels display an almost obsessive concern with the notion of Englishness. Hence, they focus on the myths, traditions and attitudes that are regarded as typically English. This is a subject which is also of central interest to recent literary criticism and cultural history at large. Among the many novels that deal with a literary exploration of England's past, its cultural memory, and its national identity are such well-known works as John Fowles' Daniel Martin (1977), Jonathan Raban's travelogue Coasting (1986), Andrew Sinclair's 'Albion triptych', including his novels Gog (1967), Magog (1972) and King Ludd (1988), Adam Thorpe's Ulverton (1992), Peter Ackroyd's English Music (1992) and Antonia S. Byatt's and Graham Swift's novels. These works can be regarded as a kind of echo-chamber of England's cultural history, for they display 'deliberate Englishness'.1 With its interest in Englishness, the nature of historical truth, and the blurring of boundaries between the authentic and the imitation, Julian Barnes' novel England, England (1998), which was short-listed for the Booker prize in 1998, shares important concerns with many contemporary British novels. Like a host of other novels published after the 1960s, England, England focuses on the question of how much we can ever know about the past. Hence, this novel shows all the features characteristic of postmodernist historiographic metafiction. That is to say, like other historiographic metafictions, England, England is 'both intensely selfreflexive and yet paradoxically also lay[s] claim to historical events and personages'.2 What is more, Barnes' novel also reflects the feature which has been the major focus of attention in most of the critical work on postmodernism, i.e. a self-conscious assessment of the status and function of narrative in literature, history, and theory: 'its theoretical self-awareness of history and fiction as human constructs (historiographic metafiction) is made the grounds for its rethinking and reworking of the forms and contents of the past'.3

Produktinformationen

    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: AdobeDRM
    Seitenzahl: 11
    Erscheinungsdatum: 02.03.2012
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9783869438559
    Verlag: Examicus Verlag
    Größe: 36 kBytes
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