University of Stirling    STORRE: Stirling Online Research Repository University Circle Images   Research Led, Student Focused  
 

STORRE >
School of Arts and Humanities >
Literature and Languages >
Literature and Languages eTheses >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/2553

Appears in Collections:Literature and Languages eTheses
Title: Perspective in historical fiction by British writers
Author(s): McEwan, John Neil
Issue Date: 1984
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: The thesis is that the best historical novels in Britain today make a lively and varied body of literature united by a concern for perspective. This is defined as a present point of view which respects the integrity of the past. The first chapter discusses the nature of their achieveient. Historical fiction has seen many ambitious failures in perspective, where the past has been distorted for the sake of modern causes. In recent decades, the value of realistic narrative and the possibility of historical objectivity have been widely questioned. The success of even a few writers in this genre shows a discrepancy: betteen the most challenging critical theories and the most original creative practice. The argument is continued in a series of critical studies. Two chapters examine Mary Renault's use of contemporary realism to follow the 'sightlines' of ancient cultures. The next two chapters discuss a different, Joycean or 'ludic' stand in fiction, in the vork of Anthony Burgess (Nothing Like the Sun and Napoleon Symphony) and Robert Nye (falstaff); it is argued that they share Mary Renault's sense of a real past vhich is not to be distorted. Chapter 6 shows that J.G. Farrell's trilogy about the British Empire is equally original and intelligent in perspective, while following different methods again. Chapter 7 contrasts John Fowles's The French Lieutenant's Woman and William Golding's Rites of Passage - one novel which exhibits fashionable doubts about the hiscorical imagination, and one which effectively dispels them. These are impressive, if minor, works in a species of fiction which has always been difficult. Their quality shows that much recent talk about the death of the past and the death of the novel has been unduly pessimistic.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/2553
Affiliation: School of Arts and Humanities
Literature and Languages

Files in This Item:

File Description SizeFormat
McEwan (1984) - Perspective in Historical Fiction by British Writers.pdf14.24 MBAdobe PDFView/Open


This item is protected by original copyright

Recommend this item

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact library@stir.ac.uk providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.

 

Valid XHTML 1.0! Repository Service Operated by Information Services, University of Stirling
Powered by DSpace Software Copyright © 2002-2010  Duraspace - Feedback