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Title: Representing reality : memory and history in the works of Julian Barnes
Authors: Sammut, Geraldine
Keywords: English fiction -- 20th century -- History and criticism
English fiction -- 21st century -- History and criticism
Barnes, Julian, 1904- -- Criticism and interpretation
Political fiction -- History and criticism
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Sammut, G. (2018). Representing reality : memory and history in the works of Julian Barnes (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: The last century in literary history can be partially understood as a reaction to the realism that characterised nineteenth-century literature. This dissertation proposes that, despite this reaction, realism can now be observed to be making a return to contemporary fiction, albeit under different modes. It specifically analyses Julian Barnes’s fiction as an example of a body of work where this return is in evidence, and assesses how the representation of memory is thereby affected. Definitions and redefinitions of realism, and the mimetic representation of the individual in historical and novelistic space are important to the argument. Reference is accordingly made to thinkers like Aristotle and Erich Auerbach, among others. In order to unfold questions concerning the representation of the individual and history, this dissertation will also analyse the way memory is carried in the novel space; primarily, through the studies of Paul Ricoeur, Maurice Halbwachs, and, again, Aristotle. To observe this to a fuller extent, this dissertation will engage in a comparative analysis of Julian Barnes’s A History of the World in 10½ Chapters (1989) and The Noise of Time (2016), chosen for special focus because they are paradigmatic of particular phases not only in his work but also within contemporary fiction more largely. Barnes’s works are, indeed, particularly suitable for this exercise, given that Barnes himself has been writing fiction since the rise of postmodernism, up till this very day. The conclusion of this dissertation will then elaborate on the idea of the political novel, as expressed by Jacques Rancière, which can uniquely posit time and space, and the insinuations this brings with it. The same chapter will also draw on other examples of contemporary fiction in order to support this notion.
Description: M.A.ENGLISH
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2018
Dissertations - FacArtEng - 2018

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