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 Volume 17/1, includes forum "Narrative Selves"
 January 2019

 Volume 16/2, includes forum on Monika Fludernik's Towards a 'Natural' Narratology
 June 2018

 Volume 16/1 includes forum "Modernity and Mobility: Victorian Women Traveling"
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 January 2017

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 June 2015

 Volume 13/1: includes forum "TheGhetto as a Victorian Text"
 January 2015

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 June 2013

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 January 2013

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 June 2012

 Volume 10/1: includes forum "Fernando Pessoa and the Issue of Heteronymy
 January 2012

 Volume 9/2: Dickens: Uneasy Pleasures
 June 2011

 Volume 9/1
 January 2011

 Volume 8/2: British Women Writers
 June 2010

 Volume 8/1 includes forum "The Ethics of Temporality"
 January 2010

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 June 2009

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 January 2009

 Volume 6/2: Narrative Knowing, Living, Telling
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 Quick Article Search

   Newest Articles

 Response Essay
 Monika Fludernik

 Experience, Affect, and Literary Lists
 Eva von Contzen

 Posthuman Narration as a Test Bed for Experientiality
 Marco Caracciolo

 The Curse of Realism
 Karin Kukkonen

 More than Minds
 Jonas Grethlein

 Toward the Non-Natural
 Maria Mäkelä

 Two Conceptions of Experientiality and Narrativity
 Dan Shen

 Against Nature
 Brian McHale

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Updated Up To 26/06/2018
Volume 6, Number 1 (January 2008) : 181--206
"When Desert Armies Stand Ready to Fight"
Re-Reading McEwan's Saturday and Arnold's
Molly Clark Hillard
Rubric A: Narrative as a Way of Thinking

Abstract

 

This paper examines the climactic scene in Ian McEwan’s novel 2005 Saturday in which the protagonist's pregnant poet daughter fends off a home invasion by reciting Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach.” My broader goal is to demonstrate that McEwan constructs not a nostalgic longing for a Victorian past, but rather a moment of neo-Victorianism: one that turns to Victorian reflections upon domestic and foreign politics, history, and the literary form in order to make meaning in a contemporary literary or cultural text.   The essay explores the phenomenologies (and politics) of reading and re-reading, and works toward the idea that certain acts of postmodernist re-reading lead to a kind of reflection on literary influence that originates (at least for McEwan) with nineteenth-century literature. McEwan’s scene of the reading and rereading of “Dover Beach” in Saturday presents the Arnold poem as an always already reread text — in the sense both that it is a text that rereads itself (containing within the space of the poem oppositional readings of the self and the community), and that it is a text that rereads other, prior texts.


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